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Full text of "Incidents in the life of a blind girl"

AUBURN UNIVERSITY 
LIBRARIES 




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Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/incidentsinlifeoOOarms 



//l^ 





.!x4i J^ l^ 



INCIDENTS 



u 



IFE OF A BLIND GIRL 



Mf^^^ M^RY L. (^r)A.Y,; 



^ ^xulmh dI i\z gfarglanb InsfHtttioti for i\z ^liitb. 



BALTIMORE: 
PUBLISHED BY JAMES YOUNG, 

114 WKST BALTIMORE STREET. 



Entered, accordin? to Act of Congress, in the year 1 859, by 

MARY L. DAY, 

la tlie Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United 
States for the District of Maryland. 



AUBURN 0'^:^'!'7 LIBHftRIES 
AUBUiiM, MJ^mii 2S330 



arf 

SEP 11 14 

RSI 

f- SPECIAL 
eOLLE^CTlON^ 



PEEFACE 



In offering this little volume to the public, and soliciting 
for it countenance and patronage, it may be fitting to state, 
the incidents narrated are facts simply given, with no 
over-wrought coloring of fancy. The design, in its issue, 
is one highly commendable to its author — a laudable desire 
to obtain a livelihood independent of those kind friends 
who fain would render personal effort, in this respect, quite 
unnecessary. 

The beneficent can but favor such an effort, and tender 
the most practical approval. Unto those whom God has 
seen fit to afflict, is it not our duty to lend a helping 
hand ? They are travelling earth's beaten paths, as are 
we ; if obscured the sun, shall we not drive away the 
mists by kindly word or cheering smile ? 

Of the numerous dispensations it is our lot to bear, that 
of blindness seems, indeed, the most severe — the helpless- 
ness and dependence it induces should appeal to every 
heart. It is true, orbs of vision closed on light of sun or 
moon, the more may celestial light shine inward ; yet, to 
tr-ead Earth's garden-paths, forever veiled the beauty of 



IV 



sky or flower, is a heavy cross to bear. There are avenues 
of happiness which afford intense enjoyment, forever closed 
to the unfortunate who can not see the greatness of God 
in tinting the violet's velvet lining, or in the delicate rose- 
leafs mystic loveliness — who may not gaze on his goodness 
in arching the heavens with the beautiful covenant bow, 
or in spreading the earth with a soil yielding, in unbound- 
ed luxuriance, herb, tree, fruit, and flower. 

"Wishing the little book God-speed, we commend it to 
the consideration of the generous and sympathetic. 

a s. R. 



§t&itniion. 



REV. JNO. McCR-ON, D.D.. 

Is respectfully and gratefully inscribed this Memoir. 



Often unto her, of whose life-history it is a transcript, hag 
this cherished friend proven counsellor, guide, consoler — ever 
prompt to lend an ear, if sorrow palled the heart, and, vrith 
words of pious cheer, to point from things that arc to the 
rich fruition of blessings in store for those who unmurijur- 
ingly drink the cup lie hath given. 

God fashioned the eloquent lip to speak His praise, and the 
tender lieart to feel for the woes of liuniankind — ever mt r it 
be, as now, tliy holy office to portray, in burning words, His 
omnipotence who reigneth from everlasting to everlasting, yet 
of whom we are told, " Like as a father pitieth his children, 
so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." 

This feeble tribute is affection's prompting, and with it b tava 
earnest petitions that the life which has heretofore beta a 
")right and shining light, may continue to grow brighter '.md 
still brighter, till it be lost in the effulgence of glory, radii* ^ng 
from the throne of the Most High. 



INCIDENTS 



LIFE OF A BLIND GIRL. 



CHAPTEE I. 

" I WILL a round, unvarnished tale deliver." — Shakspearb. 

" The web of our life is a mingled yarn, roade up of good 
and ill together." — Shakspeare. 

Gentle reader, although this will be a sad, 
painful story, yet it is truthful. I was born in 
Baltimore, Maryland, in the year 1836. My 
father was a tin-smith by trade, and at the age 
of twenty, married Sarah Henninian,abeautifa] 
girl of eighteen summers. She was the young 
est of a large family, and so loved and caressed 
that her youthful days passed like some fairy 
dream. In her girlhood she was surrounded by 
many admiring suitors, among whom was Dr. 



8 MARY L. DAY, 

Gr , a very wealthy gentleman, whose offer 

she rejected, preferring to share the fortunes of 
him whom she loved with all the warmth and 
ardor of her heart. 

After her marriage her sister sent her a faith- 
ful colored servant, who remained with her 
until after my birth. My father was a man of 
pleasing address, and the sociality of his man- 
ner won for him scores of friends. Every op- 
portunity was offered him in Baltimore to have 
realized for himself and family a fortune, which 
lie doiibtless would have done, had it not been 
for his' roving disposition. He was ever im- 
agining he could double his means in some new 
location. He left Baltimore for Nevf-York when 
I was but nine months old ; two months after 
he sent for his family to join him. This was a 
trying time for my mother, to leave her rela- 
tions and friends to go among strangers. Uncle 
Jesse, mother's youngest brother, accompanied 
us to the boat, carrying me in his.arms. After 
securing us every comfort procurable, he em- 
braced us all, and left with a fond adieu. 

As we pushed from the dock, mother went 
on deck to gaze back upon the city where dwelt 



THE BLIND GIRL. 9 

SO many beloved friends, and where had been 
passed so many happy hours. She covered her 
face with her hands and wept. Little did she 
think she was looking for the last time upon 
the home of her youth. The Monumental City 
quickly disappeared in the distance, and she re- ' 
turned to the cabin to watch over her four little 
ones. With the details of this journey, I, of 
course, am not familiar, but I can recall hearing 
my mother say it was very fatiguing. In due 
time, however, we reached our destination, and 
were met by father at the wharf. He took us 
to uncle Henry W. Deems', where we remained 
a month. 

Father then had an offer made him to go to 
the far West, which he promptly accepted. We 
were soon ready to start ; it was with delight 
my mother left New- York, for the closeness of 
its atmosphere had greatly impaired the health 
of her children as well as herself A long time 
elapsed ere we reached our journey's end, the 
conveniences for travel being then widely dif- 
ferent to what they now are ; railroads were the 
appliances of a later day. 

Our first stopping-place was White Pigeon, 



10 MARY L. DAY, 

Michigan. The person wlio made father the 
offer failed to meet his agreement, consequently 
our little family were forced to depend upon his 
labor as journeyman, and this in a newly-settled 
country. We lived in White Pigeon six mouths, 
when my father obtaining employment in Sher- 
mantown, we removed thither. Here we were 
rather more comfortably situated than previous- 
ly. Mother, being unaccustomed to hard or 
laborious work, felt greatly the loss of faithful 
Aunt Patty, our servant, whom she had been 
obliged to leave behind on account of her being 
a slave. 

After living in Shermantown six months, an- 
other brother was added to our number. About 
this time father received some money from Bal- 
timore, with which he purchased a tract of land 
about thirty miles from Shermantown, beauti- 
fully situated on the sloping bank of Silver Lake. 
The nearest town was six miles distant. Our 
land was located on the main road. About a 
hundred yards from the lake was a most romaniic 
spot — a hill covered with noble forest trees, 
sweet birds caroling joyously their lays, flitting 
through the graceful foliage, every variety of 



THE BLIND GIRL. ll 

wild flower bespangling the gentle ascent, witli 
winding paths leading to the summit, where 
grew a gigantic oak, bowing its lofty bead a? 
though in reverence to Him who touched with 
beauty the cheek of the tiniest blossom bloom- 
ing in Earth's garden bower. The limbs of 
this majestic oak bending low, took root again, 
and like the famed Banyan tree in India's faroL 
sunny clime, formed a beautiful arbor. 

Our house was situated at the foot of this hill 
"With your permission, indulgent reader, I vfili 
outline the home of the early settler in the fiv. 
West. It is built of logs, two rooms below and 
two above, a large open fire-place, the chimnej 
of which is composed of sticks. 

Our dwelling was rather better than that oi 
most of the settlers. The logs were hewn and 
well chinked in with clay. "When ready for our 
occupancy, mother left Shermantown with a 
light heart, for she felt she was going to a home 
of her own. 

My first recollection is this removal. TJie^ 
Indians had set fire to the surrounding wood 
and prairie, and though very young, I distinctly 
remember covering my face with my ^^i other's 



12. MARY L. DAY, 

slla^v? to keep the smoke from my eves. It was 
a fn{\'' tful though a brilliant scene to behold 
the tfi' !S and underbrush in flames, with groups 
of red faces peering about in every direction. 
But tb y were friendly disposed, and insisted we 
should stop at their wigwams and eat some roast 
venisoi with them, to which father assented, 
thinkir ^ it best to keep on good terms with 
them. They danced with delight that the "pale 
face," L s " squaw" and " pappooses," should sit 
by theii iire and eat of their venison. .They tried 
to caresr. and fondle me, but being very timid, I 
kept close to mother's side. This created much 
amusement among them ; my fear, however, van* 
ished ere we left them. 

The next day we reached onr new home, to 
the joy and pleasure of all. After the arrange- 
ment of our little furniture with care, we were 
really quite comfortable, more so than we had 
been since we left Baltimore. It was now No- 
vember ; the beauty of our home in summer was 
fast disappearing, giving place to autumn's 
deeper, richer tints. The trees had changed their 
verdant leafage for a reddened hue, and, though 
still very beautiful, touched by the early frost 



THE BLIND GIRL. 13 

ihej seemed drearj and desolate, wliile tlae waie'^s 
of the lake beating against tlie sliore seemsd 
mourning and wailing the departure of summer 
and the approach of sturdy, ice-clad winter, 

Mj mother often sang the touching lines of 
" Home, sweet Home," her thoughts wandering 
back to the sunny South, the land of her birtli, 
earth's most treasured spot. The very name of 
Baltimore was melody to her heart. 



14 MAEY L. DAY, 



CHAPTEK II. 

" Dark lowers our fate, 

And terrible the storm that gathers o'er us." 

Joanna Baillik. 

*' Sweet bud of the wilderness, emblem of all 

That is left to this desolate heart." 

Campbell. 

My father's work being in the village, lie was 
unable to corne home more than three times a 
week, this made it rather lonelv for us. After 
night we could see the lights from the Indian 
wigwams, scattered here and there through the 
woods. To 3^011, perhaps, gentle reader, who 
have not travelled very far from home, this will 
seem a fearful sight ; but it was not so to us ; far 
pleasanter was it than to have looked out upon 
that dark forest with no vestige of living human 
beings near. When we had retired for the 
night we could distinctly hear the wolves howl- 
ing ; teriifjing indeed was the sound — I think I 
shall never forget it ! 

But a greater and more serious trouble than 
this was in store for us. The times becoming 



THE BLIND GIRL. 15 

harder, my father's employer discharged several 
of his journeymen, him among the number. At 
this juncture of our affairs my mother tried to 
contrive how she could assist in the support oi 
our family. She could make very pretty bon- 
nets, therefore decided to go to the village and 
seek employment. The next morning she 
made the proposed effort, and in the evening 
returned, having met with excellent success. 
About a week following, father heard he could 
secure work in Jonesville, nearly forty miles 
from home. After his departure our only de- 
pendence was upon the feeble exertions our mo- 
ther was able to make. We got along pretty 
well for three weeks, when she was laid upon a 
sick bed. It was now the middle of a Michigan 
winter; we had no wood to burn, save tlie limbs 
of trees my two little brothers could drag from 
the woods, and our provisions were getting very 
low. A week passed, yet mother grew no bet- 
ter ; sister Jinnie, the eldest of us five, was now 
in her eleventh year. It was astonishing to note 
the womanly character exhibited in one sc • 
young. She was our mother's nurse, as well aa 
housekeeper. There was no kind neighbor to 



16 



MARY L. DAY, 



come in and assist ns, tlie nearest one being two 
miles distant, and the snow so deep, tlie weather 
so estremelj cold, it was impossible to reach 
those who probably would have assisted us ; it 
was utterly out of our power to seek their aid, 
willingly as it might have been rendered. 

At last our provisions gave out entirely, with 
the exception of a portion we had saved for our 
mother. Of this we did not inform her, not- 
withstanding her repeated inquiries. 

" What are we to do for dinner ?" said my 
sister one day ; this was whispered in a low tone, 
BO that it should not reach our mother's ear in 
the adjoining room. Brother William remem- 
bering that we had had potatoes in the cellar in 
the fall, replied : " Perhaps they had not all been 
eaten." We opened the trap-door and descend- 
ed to the cellar, where, to our great joy, we 
fjund nearly a bushel of small potatoes, that 
had been thrown aside. We soon placed j)art 
of them over the fire to boil ; when they were 
cooked we all sat down and ate them with salt. 
I have never eaten a potato since that tasted as 
deliciously as did those. 

We now had another trouble : the pro\dsion 



THE BLIXD GIEL. 17 

we liad reserved for oui mother was all con- 
sumed ; it distressed us to think we should be 
compelled to inform her how destitute we were, 
and she so ill ; a plan, however, occurred to us 
hj which we could spare her this afflicting intel- 
ligence a few days longer ; each of us had a pet 
chicken, which we decided should be killed for 
mother ; sister's was the first appropriated, and 
in succession the others followed till all were 
gone. 

The bushel of potatoes had quickly disap- 
peared ; alas ! what were we to do I Oh ! how 
anxiously we awaited our absent father s return. 
How often during that day did we go to the 
door to watch for him, eagerly hoping and long- 
ing to see his form in the dim distance ! But 
alas ! all that met our earnest gaze were the 
huge banks of snow, and the dreary waste of 
desolation ! 

That day and night passed, never to be for- 
gotten by me. 

The nest m-orning when my sister went up 

stairs to perform her household duties, before 

she had been there many minutes, we heard a 

scream of delight. "We all rushed up, that we 

2^ ■ 



18 MARY L. DAY, 

mi gilt ascertain what had taken place. There 
stood Jinnie with something in her hands. 
" What is it ?" " What is it ?" we all exclaimed 
in a breath. Gentle reader, what do jou. sup- 
pose it was ? It was nothing more nor less than 
a bag of garden beans, mj mother had carefully 
dried during the summer for seed. Little did 
she dream they were to save the lives of her 
children. They were cooked, but lasted only a 
few days. Our pet chickens had all been killed. 
The pain it cost me to part with mine is indel- 
ibly impressed upon my memory; but I had 
only to be reminded 'twas for my dear mother, 
and my childish sorrow at parting with my pet 
vanished, giving place to real delight, that I 
was able to contribute aught to her necessity or 
her comfort. 

It now became absolutely imperative our 
mother should be informed of the fact that all 
our provision had been consumed ; after laying 
various plans by which this sad intelligence 
should be conveyed to her, as we sat grouped 
around the fire, it was finally decided Jinnie 
should tell her. Our dear mother was not sur- 
prised at the information, but bore it with that 



THE BLIXD GIRL. 19 

Cliristian resignation and patience which had 
charcterized her throughout her sufferings. 

She said if the road were sufficiently broken, 
Jinnie and Willie should go to the village and 
collect some money owing her by several ladies. 
Early next morning they started ; on their way 
they called at old Mrs. Smith's, a Quaker lady, 
and told her of our mother s illness. She said 
she would go right over and see if she could do 
any thing to relieve her. After getting well 
warmed, and having another comforter wrapped 
about their necks by kind Mrs. Smith, they 
again started for the village, which they reached 
safely. They called on the ladies, as directed, 
and each paid the amount due, and one filled 
two baskets with provisions and groceries. It 
was nine o'clock in the evening ere they reach- 
ed home again. Mrs. Smith was there, as she 
had promised. During their absence another 
brother had been added to our number. 

Jinnie, notwithstanding her long jaunt, pre- 
pared our supper from the store she had brought 
with her, sent by the kind friend from the 
village. 



20 MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTER III. 

" Still when the prayer is said, 
For thee kind bosoms yearn, 
For thee fond tears are shed : 

Oh ! when wilt thou return ?" — HEMASa. 

*' Death found strange beauty on that infant brow, 
And dashed it out." — Hemaks. 

"We had scarcely seated ourselves at the table, 
Mrs. Smith occupying our mother's wonted 
place, when our attention was arrested by a 
familiar footstep. "Did you hear that?" ex- 
claimed my brother Charles, looking towards 
the door. " 'Tis some drunken Indian," re- 
sponded Mrs. Smith — but we knew better, our 
hearts told us who it was. The door opened, 
and there, instead of the dark form of an In- 
dian, stood our father, pale and emaciated. 
"Father, dear father!" burst from the lips of 
every one, and in another instant we were 
clasped to his bosom. Eeleasing us and look- 
ing about him, he exclaimed : " Oh ! where is 
your mother?" Mrs. Smith quietly took him 



THE BLIND GIRL. 21 

to lier room. I will not attempt to describe the 
scene there enacted ; the meeting was indeed one 
of mingled pain and pleasure. 

He soon rejoined us, and we once more sat 
down to our evening repast, after which he ex- 
plained his long al3sence. He had been con- 
fined to a sick bed five weeks, during which 
time he had sent us letters and money, neither 
of which we had received. AYe were all happj 
now, for father was not to leave us again that 
winter. He immediately ordered a plentiful 
supply of provision for the remainder of the 
cold season. 

My mother's health rapidly improved, but 
Toay father had contracted fever and ague, and 
was quite sick for several weeks. One day, 
while lying upon a lounge near the fire, and rock- 
ing the cradle wherein the babe lay, mother call- 
ed to him, saying it had slejDtlong enough. He 
rose to see if it was still sleeping, when he found 
its little eyelids closed in that slumber which 
knows no awaking, save in the arms of Him 
v/ho hath said : " Suffer little children to come 
unto me, for of such is the kingdom of Hea- 
ven." Our baby brother was dead ! This was 



JZ MARY L. DAY, 

a terrible shock to mj mother. We were sent 
immediately for good kind Mre. Smith ; she 
robed it first in life, and then in death draped its 
little limbs in the garments of the tomb. The 
next day we bore our angel treasure to the lone- 
ly graveyard, and placed him beneath the sod 
opposite the gently murmuring waters of the 
lake. The little mound was visible from our 
door ; methinks I see it now, a mere speck amid 
the snow-baiiks ; ere the morning came it was 
hid beneath a fleecy mantle ; for my mother's 
sake I was gla^ of this, for she sat gazing upon 
it from her win-iow, till the snow had quite con- 
ccaled it from htr view. 

Her health still continuing to improve, it was 
not long ere we h.id the pleasure of once more 
seeing her about the house. My father, also, 
had quite recovered, and things bade fair to as- 
sume a brighter aspect. 

It was now the first of March, and the snow 
was rapidly disappearing ; we were very thank- 
ful for this, for the winter had indeed been a 
trying one to us. My father's health being en- 
tirely restored, he resolved upon returning to 
Jonesville to resume his work — he took me 



THE BLIND GIRL. 23 

\\dtli Mm. His employer was a minister, one 
of tliose true souls we find here and there, in 
passing through, the world. His family con- 
sisted of himself, wife, and two children. Little 
Mary North was indeed a lovely creature. We 
were the same age, The whole family wel- 
comed father and myself heartily ; I enjoyed 
my visit of three or four weeks very much, still 
at times was very home-sick. 

My father was a beautiful singer, and of an 
evening numbers of persons would collect to 
hear him, while at his work. He would set me 
beside him and sing for me till nine o'clock, 
when he would kiss me and send me to bed. 
This was a delightful way in which to spend my 
evenings. 

A few years previous to this time Mr. North 
had found a pot of money buried in his garden. 
Mary and I would search daily, that we might 
find one also ; but our search was vain, and our 
golden dreams, like certain fabrics built in air, 
were doomed to prove visions, airy nothings 
only. How oft is happiness in life sought with 
as ill success as was sought by us the buried 
golden treasure ; too oft is it but a cheating 



2-1 MARY L. DAY, 

"ignis fatims," deluding still and still delud- 
ing ! 

Tlie day for mj return liome arrived : ]Nrar3' 
had become very dear to me, we were mucli at- 
taclied to eacli other, and it seemed very hard 
we should have to part ! 

We never met again ; in hearing from and of 
her I thank Grod to have learned her life thus 
far lias been a brighter and more fortunate one 
than mine. 

It was a beautiful April day when we took 
the stage for homeward travel. The birds were 
singing gayly, the sky was bright ; all eartli was 
redolent with loveliness, the air, laden as it w^as 
with freshness, seemed fraught with joyousness. 
I too, v\ath earth, and air, and sky, felt exuber- 
ant and cheerfal, though I had just parted from 
my sweet friend Mary — for was I not seeking 
" home again ?" place than all others ]nost dear, 
and was I not soou to greet the loved ones 
there ? Mother, sister, brothers ! My very soul 
was filled with ecstasy ! 

"We arrived at home ; irs I alighted from the 
stage, I was struck w^itli the scene before me. 
Always greatly admiring Xature and it.' handi- 
works, I could but be imprcs.^cd with the wihl, 



THE BLIND GIRL. 25 

uncultured beauty spreading out so lavishly; 
irs eiFect upon me still recurs to memory, though 
years have intervened. 

I have never seen Italy's far-famed sky, but 
I do not think it could surpass that evening 
sunset. The king of day sinking into the 
bosom of Silver Lake, the earth carpeted with 
the modest, fragrant violet, and the luxuriant 
foliage of the tall oak, staying to the gentle 
passing breeze, combined to form a scene of 
almost fairy -like enchantment. 

When meditating upon the beauties of Nature, 
on whicli I have been permitted to gaze, my 
heart is filled with love and reverence for the 
Great Being who created them. But 'now to 
me — 

"All Nature is a sealed book, 
Whose clasp I can not find ; 
It was not meant for me to read, 
For I am blind, I am blind !" 

I found all well and happy at home. It being 
spring, the Indians, according to their custom, 
had built their wigwams near the lalvc shore. 
They might constantly be seen in their light 
canoes, employed in fishing, which occupa- 



26 MAEY L. DAY, 

tion appeared to be tlieir chief deliglit. One 
day, while my father was absent from home, 
having gone to the village, I was sitting on the 
door-step, when looking np, I saw seven gigan- 
tic Indians coming down the road towards our 
house ; I was greatly alarmed, and in an instant 
sprang from the door into the house, and hid 
myself in a large oven. This was not the most 
comfortable hiding-place, but it was preferable 
to coming into contact with those wild, fierce- 
looking savages. I crawled near the door to 
watch their movements. They demanded some- 
thing to eat; my mother told them she had 
nothing for them. On hearing this, one of them 
pointed to a steak which was being broiled, at 
the same time drawing his tomahawk from his 
belt and flourishing it over her head. She was 
very courageous, and raised the broom as if to 
strike him. Her bravery saved her life ; in- 
stead of killing her, they turned and left the 
house, yelling and shouting as far as they could 
be heard : " White man's squaw brave I" "When 
they had gone, I crept from my hiding-place, so 
completely covered with ashes and du't, my 
mother could scarcely recognize me. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 27 



CHAPTEE ly. 

' She's gone ! forever gone ! The king of terrors 
Lays his rude hand upon her lovely limbs, 
And blasts her beauties with his breath !" 

Dennis' Appius and Yirginia. 

*' Good Heaven ! what sorrow gloomed that parting day 
That called them from their native walks away." 

Goldsmith. 

My father who had been for some time trying 
CO sell his land, now found a purchaser, and we 
were destined to be on the wing again ; the ne- 
cessary arrangements for a removal having been 
made, we bade adieu to our beautiful cabin 
home on the banks of Silver Lake, not without 
parting affectionately with our tried friend Mrs. 
Smith, and visiting for the last time tho grave 
of our baby -brother. 

A few days and we were located in Jones- 

ville ; for two months every thing moved on 

pleasantly. We had almost begun to think our 

'troubles over, but a heavy affliction -vj^as about 

to befall us. Mother was taken very ill one day 



2S MARY L. DAY, 

while all of us were at school except sister Jin- 
nie, who sent for us in great haste — our mother 
was dying ! We reached home in time only to 
receive her parting blessing. After embracing 
each of our little group, and bidding us be good 
children, loving God and one another, her pure 
spirit winged its flight back to Him who gave 
it. Our best earthly friend had left us ; young 
as we were, we deeply felt our loss, yet the bur- 
den of our woe we realized not until years had 
sped away, proving how great a void is created 
in a child's heart and life by a mother's death ! 
The constant yearning for her tendernesses; the 
quick sympathy she alone can give ; the caress 
of her soft hand in approval ; or even the mild 
rebuke softened and chastened, coming from her 
lips — these departed, life seems a very blank ; 
then speak ye kindly ever to the motherless, ye 
may have power to wile their hearts from sor- 
row by the magic influence of a smile. 

Our dear mother died among strangers, yet 
aot unmourned for ; by her pleasant and affable 
manners she had gained many friends who wept 
with us over her grave. 

The time had now come for us to be sepa- 



THE BLIND GIEL, 29 

rated ; we were taken liome and kindly cared 
for hy friends of our mother until permanent 
arrangements could be made for us by our 
father. A lady, named Mrs. Benson, took me 
in charge, with whom I remained about eight 
months, during which time homes had been 
found, for my brothers and sister, but as yet 
none for me. I shall not soon forget when my 
youngest brother was taken to his new home; 
my father went with him and allowed me to ac- 
company them — his stranger friends seemed 
quite fond of him ; this pleased my father very 
much, for he was desirous we should be com- 
fortably and pleasantly situated. The hour 
came for us to part with my brother ; it was 
very sad to leave the little fellow, but three 
years old, among entire strangers. The lady of 
the house took him into the garden, so that we 
could go without his knowledge. "When at 
some clistance from the house I looked back and 
saw Howard still playing among the flowers, 
I had no thought it would be the last time I 
should ever see him, though I watched him with 
the intens'3st interest as long as the faintest out- 
line of his sweet form was visiblie. 

3* 



30 MARY L. DAY, 

My father's employer sent him on business to 
a remote part of the country ; upon his return 
he told me he had secured a home for me with 
a wealthy family who had but one child, and he 
married. He said I should be quite a little ladj^, 
and also told me they were good religious people. 
I was perfectly delighted with my prospects. 
The day upon which I was to start arrived ; the 
place was about twenty miles distant. Julia 
Benson was to accompany me. My father 
placed us in the stage, then got in himself, say- 
mg he would ride part of the way with us. He 
bade me be a good girl, to love and obey the 
lady who was henceforth to be as a mother to 
me. I held a little basket in my hand, into 
which he put some money, and told me to look 
what he had given me. While examining the 
contents of my basket, my father vanished ; upon 
looking up, I discovered he had gone ; shortly 
after I saw him standing upon the steps of the 
hotel we had just left ; years passed, and many 
changes transpired, ere I met him again. In 
my lonely hours of musing, I sometimes reiunll 
the scene when, shortly after my dear mothcn-'s 
death he gathered us all around him, and talked 



THE BLIXD GIRL. 31 

of- our ajjproaching separation ; methinks I can 
})lain]j hear the expression still : " Children, you 
are all together now, but may never be again " 
W^ll and fitly spoken — we never were altogether 
again an undivided family ! 

About noon of the same day we came in sight 
of my future home ; it was one mile north of 
Homer, Michignn, and was a beautiful farm, 
well- cultured and picturesque, vfith commo- 
dious dwellings upon it. The stage halted at 
the gate, and we were met by an elderly gentle- 
man who lifted me to the ground, at the same 
time saying : " Is this my little girl ?" When 
he had led me into the house, I looked around 
expecting to see Mrs. Ruthven ; but my new 
friend told me my mamma (for such he wished 
me to call her) was sick, but that after dinner 
I should see her. Dinner over, I was conducted 
to her chamber. On entering the room, I stood 
perfecty stunned with disappointment. I had 
anticipated meeting a kind motherly person, in- 
stead of which I saw a cold, stern woman. As 
she bent her pitiless gaze upon me, I thought of 
my own gentle mothej, and burst into tears. 
[Jpon leaving the room I heard her exclaim in 



82 ilAEY L. DAY, 

an angr J tone : "I "wonder if I am always to 
be bothered with other people's children !" 

Time passed more pleasantly than I might have 
expected, in my new home. Mr. Euthven jsvas 
■very kind to me, and tried in every way to ren- 
der me happy and contented. I did not visit 
his wife's room again. After a few days I was 
told she was coming down to dine with us. I 
can not portray the awful dread with which she 
inspired me. The day came upon which she 
was to join the family at dinner, and I think I 
never shall forget that dinner. I could not move 
without her halloaing at me in sharp, angry 
tones. I had never been spoken unkindly to 
before, and this treatment almost broke my heart. 
Her son, George, also treated me with the great- 
est disdain, appearing to regard me as some- 
thing unworthy his notice. He did not like his 
parents to speak one kind word to me, and al- 
though he called himself a Christian and a gen- 
tleman, he would stand by and laugh when his 
mother would knock me down. At one time 
from one of her blows I became senseless ; wlien 
I recovered, I was lying upon the sofa, and she 
bathing my temples. 



THE 15LIND GIRL. 33 

If thej are living, and should chance to read 
this simple narrative, they ivill from it learn 
tha;t th-e child they treated with such scorn and 
disdain, has scores of kind and loving friends. 
Oh ! what a pity it is Christianity should be sc j 
disgraced, and religion be a cloak to such hy- | 
pocrisy ! Mr. Euthven always treated me witt 
the greatest consideration ; he never corrected 
me but twice, and then it was done in such a 
manner that I felt a high sense of his moral ob- 
ligation to me had induced him to inflict the re- 
primand. The cause of George Euthven's dis- 
like to me was on account of the property ; he 
was afraid, were I to gain the affections of his 
parents I would receive a share. He tried every 
means to increase his mother's dislike to me. 

When I had been ten months with this family 
I heard from my father ; he had been on busi- 
ness to Detroit for Mr. North. On his return, 
he tied his horse at the store-door, went in and 
settled with his employer, as was his custom, and 
left the house again. The horse was allowed to 
remain where my father had secured him, per- 
sons supposing he would return and attend to it ; 
but after some time had elapsed, Mr. North was 
.2^ 



S4 MART L. DAY, 

compelled to have the horse stabled, as my father 
did not again make his appearance. 

It was from my friend Jnlia I learned my 
father's return to Jonesville, and of his sudden 
and unexplained departure therefrom. Julia, it 
will be remembered, accompanied me to Mrs. 
Buthven's ; after paying a visit of some length, 
she left me with my new acquaintances. Since 
that time she has married, and is now living in 
California, realizing golden dreams in that far-off 
pleasant land of precious ore. Cheering sunlight 
has shone o'er her way, while dark shadows have 
fallen upon mine ; but 'twas His will "who doeth 
all things well." I will not murmur. 

" Behind tlie clouds is the sun etill shining." 



THE BLIND GIRL. 35 



CHAPTEK Y. 

•' I WILL not bow me to thoughts that- brecithe despair." 
" Oh ! a cherubim 

Thou wast, that didst preserve me !" 

Shakspeare. 

" tiger's heart wrapt in woman's form ! 
How couldst thou drain the hfe-blood of the child ?" 

Shakspeare. 

Upon' learning that my father had left Jones- 
ville, with no communication as to where it was 
his intention to go, I was treated with greater 
imkindness even than before. The only happi- 
ness I had, was in taking care of the beautiful 
Evelyn, George's little daughter. I felt she was 
the single exception in the family who cared 
aught for me, as I yearned to be loved. Mr. 
Euthven was kind ; but his wife's dislike for me 
and annoyance at my presence, could but have 
its weight. 

A lovely summer afternoon, Evelyn and I 
went searching for berries in a wood about a 
quarter of a mile from the house. We wander- 
ed on, unheeding how far from home we had 



86 MARY L. DAY, 

gon'» so occupied and engrossed were we in 
makiug garlands of flowers and admiring tlie 
gay plumage of the birds. Suddenly we were 
fctartled witli the sound of distant thunder, i 
then observed how dark and threatening was 
the sky ; taking Evelyn by the hand, I hurried 
as I thought, towards home, but unfortunately 
selected the wrong direction. Every thing ap- 
peared strange and unfamiliar, although I had 
frequently been there before. At last we reach- 
ed a marsh ; I fancied our home must be on the 
opposite side. Catching Evelyn up in my arms, 
I carried her across ; how I ever succeeded in 
doiug so, I can not tell, so extremely was I 
frightened. The thunder rolled and boomed 
through the vaulted heaven, the forked light- 
ning flashed with alarming fiivy ; it had grown 
quite dark, and the rain fell in torrents. Sink- 
,hig well-nigh exhausted upon the wet grass, I 
took little Evelyn in my lap. As she nestled 
closely in my arms, she said : " Mamie, do you 
think the bears will eat us ?" I shuddered at 
the question, they were so numerous in that vi- 
cinity ; even the rain falling upon the leaves I 
imagined the tread of a bear. 



THE BLIND GIEL. 87 

In about an lionr the rain ceased, tlie moon 
arose, and we again started in search, of home ; 
for three hours we wandered on through the 
thickly-shaded, dark, wet wood, ere we came in 
sight of a dwelling-house. 

The one we at last reached was surrounded 
by a beautiful garden ; we went to the fence, but 
there was no one visible ; poor little Eva com- 
plained of being tired and sleepy ; I laid her 
down on the grass and she was soon asleep — al- 
though her couch was the damp ground, and 
her canopy the stars of the firmament above us. 

I thought I would go into the house and ask 
that we might remain there the rest of the 
night ; but just as I was climbing over the 
fence the door opened, and a man came out ; he 
looked like a huge Indian ; I sprang from the 
fence, caught the sleeping child in my arms, and 
ran back into the woods. 

Heavy impenetrable clouds had covered the 
moon, and we were in darkness again, the rain 
once more falling in torrents ; we sat down 
under a tree, thinking we would remain there 
till daylight ; in an instant a vivid flash of light- 
ning darted athwart the heavens, striking and 



38 MARY L. DAY, 

shattering a tree not far from us. This shocked 
us greatly, and we immediately started back to 
the fence ; we had proceeded but a short dis- 
tance, when we heard the sound of horns ; we 
knew some one was in search of us. Imagine 
our delight on meeting Eva's father with a party 
of neighbors who had joined to aid in finding 
us. He clasped Evelyn to his bosom, and turn- 
ing to me said : " This is all your fault." Not- 
withstanding his unkind expression and accom- 
panying threats, his presence had never been so 
agreeable to me. 

It was now three o'clock in the morning, and 
we were six miles from home. They carried 
the sleeping Eva in their arms, but allowed me 
to walk, weary, hungiy, and faint. From the 
effects of this exposure I was sick several days, 
during which time I received little or no sym- 
pathy from Mrs. Ruthven ; if possible, she was 
more unkind to me than ever before. Oh I how 
I envied other children who had parents to 
watch over, guide, and tend them ; but then 
" our Father in heaven " keepeth the orphan as 
the waters in the hollow of his hand. 

In the autumn, a blind gentleman came to 



THE BLIND GIRL. 89 

board "with. us. He soon learned liow severe 
tliey were to me, and often spoke decidedly in 
my belialf. I was frequently in tlie habit of 
leading liim out for a walk, little thinking then 
I should some day have to be led. One day 
while laughing at a mistake of his, he chidingly 
said to me : " Take care, Mary, you may be 
blind yourself ere you die." How like a pro- 
phecy have the words of my old friend seemed ! 

Mr. Lee had lost his sight while studying law. 
He had a kind, noble heart ; often has he taken 
me upon his lap, and stroking fondly and ca- 
ressingly my hair, he would say in tones I well 
remember ; "Poor child, I pity you ; had I my 
sight you should not remain here a day longer." 
How I clung to him ! indeed, he seemed the 
only friend I had in the world save the loving, 
gentle Evelyn. 

About two miles from Mr. Euthven's was the 
old Methodist meeting-house. It was here I used 
to attend Sabbath-school and church. During 
the winter protracted meetings were held, min- 
isters and members conoresfatins; from the dif- 

DO O 

ferent parts of the country, the house always be- 
ing well filled during their continuance. One 



40 MARY L. DAY, 

beautiful Sabbath morning tlie entire family 
went to' cliurch, leaving me to keep house and 
prepare dinner. Mrs. Euthven said I should 
cook vegetables of various kinds, and gave me 
numerous other directions, for she seldom al- 
lowed me idle moments even upon God's ap- 
pointed day of rest. I collected and prepared 
as many vegetables as I deemed necessary, and 
obeyed her other behests as nearly as I could 
remember. 

She returned from church accompanied by 
several ministers, and other persons ; she looked 
so good, so sanctified from all sin, it seemed im- 
possible she could ever treat me ill again. As 
she came into the parlor, placing her hand od 
my head, she said : " My daughter, have jou 
been lonesome ?" OIi ! how this kindness from 
her made my heart palj)itate. After having laid 
aside her bonnet and shawl, she passed out to 
see if I had done all she had ordered. I trem- 
bled lest something should have been left un- 
done. In a few moments she opened the door, 
and called me in such sweet tones that I thought 
she was well jDleased with the manner in which 
I had fulfilled my allotted task. She had 



THE BLIND GIRL. 41 

scarcely closed the door upon lier guests before 
lier whole appearance changed ; her sweet mo- 
therly smile gave place to a dark, foreboding 
frown ; her voice that had been so kind and 
gentle became severe and sarcastic ; she caughi 
me by my hair and beat me, first on one side a 
my head, and then the other. To prevent mj 
cries from being heard by the company in tht 
parlor, she covered my mouth with her hand. 
After she had exhausted her anger upon me, 
she told me what had so incensed her : I had 
not prepared su£&cient vegetables for dinner ! 

This was the usual manner in which I was 
treated by Mrs. Kuthven ; yet the ministers who 
partook of her hospitality that Sabbath day re- 
garded her as a pattern Christian. True, indeed, 
is the old saying : " You never know people till 
you live with them." Daily and hourly inter- 
course must either exalt or sink in our estima- 
tion those thrown athwart our way. Give to 
me for friends, not the loudly vaunting of good 
works, but the timid trusting Christian who 
"seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, 
tliinketli no evil." 



42 MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTEE VI. 

"I LAY ill; . 
And the dark, hot flood, throbbing through and through me ;" 

" I swooned; and as I died, 
Or seemed to die, a soft, sweet sadness feU 
With a voluptuous weakness on my soul, 
That made me feel all happy." Bailey, 

" Friend after friend departs : 
Who hath not lost a friend ?" Montgomery. 

DuRiNa tlie winter I walked two miles to 
scliool, often tlirougli the deep snow. From 
this and other exposures, when spring arrived 
my health was very delicate. No one believed 
me ill until one day I fainted and fell to the 
floor. It was several days before I knew any 
thing passing around me. When I did regain 
consciousness, I learned my life had been de- 
spaired of by four physicians. Mrs. Euthven 
was sitting by my bedside, weeping ; it was not 
love for me, or sympathy, which caused her 
tears, it was the recollection of her cruel treat- 
ment of a lonely, friendless child. They were 



THE BLIND GIRL. 43 

tears of remorse and not of sorrow. AnotTier 
person was watching by me, good^ Elder Staples, 
pastor of the little frame church, where it had 
been my wont to go to listen to his words of 
pious counsel. 

He asked me if I was afraid to die. I told 
him no ; I wanted to die and go to Heaven, 
where I might live forever with my mother. 
He thought I was dying, and asked if there was 
any friend I would like to see. I told him no 
one but my father, brothers, and sister ; but 
this was impossible, for they were far away. 
Elder Staples then offered up a fervent prayer 
for the motherless child, prayed that her soul 
as it winged its flight might be united with that 
of the pure, sainted angel-mother who had gone 
before to that home "where the wicked cease 
from troubling and the weary are at rest." He 
thought not then that I should outlive him. 
Dear departed friend ! he has gone to reap the 
reward of his earthly labors, and to wear a 
crown of glory at God's right hand. 

Mr. Lee at this time proposed sending for an 
old doctor with whom he was acquainted. His 
suggestion was acquiesced in, and Dr. 



44 MARY L. DAY, 

was immediately sent for ; by evening he came, 
I felt some on» touch my hand ; npon opening 
my eyes, I saw bending over me an old man 
with shaggy locks and stern visage ; he was 
shaking his head, as if in doubt as to my case. 
He walked to the table, and taking his medi- 
cines from his saddle-bags, prepared a dose for 
me. He turned and handed it to Mrs. Euthven, 
at the same time saying : " Give her this : it will 
either kill or make her better in one hour." 
The mixture was given me, the doctor took the 
newspaper and sat down to await the result. 
Mr. Lee also was by my bedside, my hand held 
in his. By the termination of the hour the de- 
sired effect had been produced ; in a few daj's I 
was able to sit up. 

Different physicians had examined Mr. Lee's 
eyes, and their opinion was, that the optic nerve 
was affected ; and if operated upon skillfully his 
sight might be restored. Accordingly he made 
preparation to start for ISTew-York, and place 
himself under treatment of the famed oculist, 

Dr. . The day of his departure arrived. 

It was a great trial to me ; I felt as though I 
were losing my only friend. They moved my 



THE BLIXD GIUL. 45 

chair into the porch, so that 1 could watch him 
while in sight. After bidding mc an affection- 
ute adieu, and giving me some good advice, he 
was assisted to the carriage. I gazed earnestly 
at the vehicle as it was borne swiftly over the 
hills. I never saw my blind friend again; 
shortly after his arrival in New-York intelli- 
gence was received of his death. By God's will 
earthlj^ visions had been shut out from his gaze , 
but in yon heaven he looketh ever on beauty 
" it hath not entered into the heart of man to 
conceive." 

My health was now perfectly restored. About 
this time Government sent the Indians to the 
Eocky Mountains. Kear where I lived was an 
elevation called Black Hawk Hill, on the sum- 
mit of which was an Indian trading-house, where 
the swarthy savages used to assemble by hun- 
dreds. The people came from the surrounding 
country to see them dance and hear them sing 
their war-songs. One day Evelyn and I, acconi 
panied by her nurse, went to witness their per 
formances ; we had not been there long before 
I was attacked with a severe headache, and pro 
posed returning home; but Eva wished tore 



46 MARY L. DAY 

main longer, so I said I would go alone. As I 
hastened down the hill, not looking upon the 
ground, I stumbled over a drunken Indian, ly- 
ing across the path. He instantly sprang from 
his prostrate position, caught me by the hair, 
pulled me to the ground ; then placing his knee 
upon my breast, he raised his tomahawk, and 
was in the very act of striking when his arm 
was arrested by an Indian from the thicket close 
at hand. After releasing me, he led the drunk- 
en fellow off to the trading-house. 

It was several minutes before I recovered my 
strength sufl&ciently to walk home, so terribly 
was I frightened. Oh ! how often have I wished 
when I have encountered severe trials, the In- 
dian's weapon had done its fatal work. How 
much pain, sorrow, and affliction I should have 
been spared I But then my Heavenly Father 
preserved me, and his judgment is unerring. 

Nothing of importance happened the follow- 
ing summer and winter. I went to school as I 
had done previously ; Mrs. Ruthven and George 
treated me with their usual unkindness. It 
was now four years since ni}^ mother's death, 
and I determined I would leave my uncomfort- 



THE BLIND GIRL. 47 

able and nnliappy home. I formed several plans, 
none of wliicli seemed available. I tbougbt no 
one would believe my simple story, for the 
Ruthvens had many friends, and were highly 
respected ; but I was resolved to make my es- 
cape the following week." 1 knew I should have 
difficulty in attempting this, for I should have 
to complete all my arrangements, without ad- 
vice or assistance, and without the family hav- 
ing the slightest knowledge of my intention. 

I visited all my favorite haunts, to take a 
parting look. Near the house was a beautiful 
creek, where I had often strayed when weary and 
unhappy ; its gentle murmurings and the beauty 
af its water seemed to soothe me. It was a 
branch of Grreat Grand Eiver, which has always 
been celebrated for the blueness of its waters. 
The scenery about the creek was romantic and 
enticing. About a quarter of a mile from the 
house was a beautiful wood, approached by a 
path through the lane, bordered with wild flow- 
ers. The house was surrounded by a garden 
and a large orchard — indeed, a very Eden in the 
wilderness was the spot, yet the serpent had 
coiled himself amid the flowers, and his poison- 



4?j MAKY L, DAY, 

ing breath mingled with the fragrant odors 
borne from the varied tinted blossoms. 

A little way down the creek on its bank wa^ 
a plum tree. I called it mine ; it seemed so like 
myself, so lonely, so desolate ; there it bloomed 
and yielded fruitage v/ith no other tree near. I 
U'^icd to think, beneath its branches should be 
my burial-place, that I might share its solitude. 
My kind friend Mr. Lee and myself, how often 
had we wandered to this spot, passing many 
pleasant hours. The tree was now covered with 
.blossoms. Who would gather the plums when 
ripened? and where should I be by the time 
they lusciously dejDended from its branches ? 

After visiting several other dear and familia' 
places, I returned to the house almost sony 1 
had thought of leaving. But as soon as I met 
Mrs. Ruthven, my regret vanished and my de- 
termination became firmer than before. 

The next day was the Sabbath ; I went to 
school as usual in the morning. As T sat in 
■my class I looked in the face of mj^ kind teacher 
and was almost on the eve of opening my heait 
to her, and, telling her all, ask her protection. 
I thought of the rich and influential Ruthvcns, 



THE BLIND GIRL. 49 

and feared she would inform them and thus de 
feat my plans. No I I would keep my secret. 
I was now ten years old, and could do almost 
any kind of work. I would make my own liv- 
ing and be happy, which would surely be pr(>,fer- 
fil)le to living miserably, as I now did. While 
indu]2:ino: in these thoughts school was dismissed. 
After kissing my teacher good-by, I strolled 
through the graveyard with many a longing 
sigh 'that my head were pillowed beneath the 
grassy sod. I went into church, and listened to 
Elder Staples for the last time. It seemed the 
best sermon I had ever heard him preach. How 
true is it, "blessings brighten as they take their 
flight." 

As I rode away at the close of the service, 1 
gazed earnestly and fondly at each familiar ob- 
ject, and could scarce restrain my tears; yet — 

" Why should I weep ! to leave the vine, 
Whose clusters o'er me bend — 
The myrtle — yet oh ! call it mine ! 
The flowers I loved to tend." 

Is it strange the heart should yearn towards 
the inanimate in Nature, and hold sweet con- 
verse with rivulet, tree, or flower, if closed 



50 MAEY L. DAY, 

against us seem all sympathy of human kind ? 
The heart thrown back upon itself will turn to 
Nature and spend its sweetness there. 

" flowers which I bred up with tender hand ! 
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names, 
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank 
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount {** 



THE BLIND GIKL. 61 



CHAPTBE YII. 

" I FLY like a bird of the air 

In search of a home and a rest ; 
A balm for the sickness of care, 

A bliss for a bosom unblest." Btbou. 

" From this unhappy palace let us fly, 
But whither shall we leave our misery ? 
Who to the unfortunate will kind appear, 
The wretched are unwelcome every where." 

Crowne's Andkomache. 

The next morning I prepared for school, tied 
np a few articles of clothing, and concealed 
them under the fence near the road. "When 
starting I kissed Eva. In doing so I could scarce 
restrain vaj tears. She had indeed, infused me 
with a fortitude from Heaven to bear up against 
the ills that beset my path. She was the ons 
star of my life^ and it was a great trial to part 
from her. 

After having travelled five miles, I thought 
I could with safety, inquire for employment. 
I entered a house and asked for work. The 



52. MARY L. DAY, 

ladj- looked at me, and said I was too small and 
delicate to do raucli work. She inquired my 
name, and I gave her my own family name, 
thinking there would be no danger, as I had 
been known ever since living with them, by the 
name of Euthven. She told me she had no- 
thing for m.e to do. The next place I came to, 
T saw a lady sitting at the window, whom I 
thought I had seen before, and as I did not wish 
to meet any one with whom I was acquainted, 
for fear of being conveyed back to Mrs. Euth- 
ven's, I passed by without stopping. At a third 
house where I made inquiry, I met with no bet- 
ter success than at the first. 

I travelled on till nearly darl^, becoming very 
much frightened lest I should have to remain 
out alone all night. Seeing a farm-house near, 
I went to it and asked that I might be sheltered. 
Upon entering I found myself in a comfortable 
sitting-room, where the family had assembled for 
tea. This happy scene made me keenly feel my 
friendless condition. I tried to speak, but my 
voice failed, and sinking into a chair, I sobbed 
aloud. They all gathered round me, and Mrs. 
Palmer (for that was the lady's name) took both 



THE BLIXD GIRL. 63 

my iiands in hers, and kindly asked the cause 
of my sorrow. It was a long time before I could 
speak, but when I could I told them my painful 
story. Upon finishing, I saw tears of sympathy 
in every eye, and I felt cheered when Mrs. Pal- 
mer told me, though she did not need my ser- 
vices, I should remain with her until I found 
a good home. 

I had been here but a few days, when the 
family received intelligence of the death of a 
son and brother at Grand Kiver. They were 
all going there, and said if I would like to go, 
they would take me with them ; thinking it 
probable they would be able to procure me a 
home, I gladly acceded to their kind offer, I 
thought too, this would remove me farther from 
the Ruthvens, and one part of the world was 
as agreeable as another, so that I had a home. 

I was much gratified with the scenery of the 
country through which I passed. At the end 
of two days we reached Marshall. Mr. Palmer 
hnd a friend living there, with whom he re- 
mained the night. The next morning, the gen- 
tleman's wife remarked she knew a lady living 
four miles distant, who wanted a little girl about 



54 MARY L. DAY, 

my age for company, as lier daugliters were all 
away at scliool. Mrs. Palmer thought I had 
better avail myself of so favorable an oppor- 
tunity offered on such pleasing terms. With 
regret I bade them all adieu, for they had been 
very kind to the lonely wanderer. 

After they had gone Mrs. Simpson took me 
to her friend, Mrs. Stilings ; this lady's appear- 
ance was very prepossessing. When Mrs. 
Simpson had told her my history, she came to 
me, and taking off my bonnet, said : "I was 
just the little girl she wanted to keep her com- 
pany while her children were away at school." 

I had only been with Mrs. Stilings a few days, 
when she received a letter informing her of the 
illness of her daughter in Vermont, and desir- 
ing her to come on immediately. More trouble 
was in store for me. Mrs. S. was going to send 
for her daughters at school to return home, and 
then I should no longer be desired. She told 
me her pastor required a little girl as ni;rse, and 
possibly I would suit, and that they were good, 
kind persons. 

In three or four days Mrs. S. was ready to 
start for Vermont ; her daughters arrived the 



THE BLIND GIRL, 55 

niglit before her departure, Thej wer« botli 
lovely girls. The day following I again t /^^nrted 
out into the cold world in search of a home. 
Mr. Pierson lived about a mile from Mi-ts. Stil- 
ings ; the house was about a quarter of a mile 
from, the main road, on a rise of ground, .i?.s I 
walked up the lane, very picturesque yz-.c^t the 
scene before me ; the house was surrounded 
with locust trees in full blossom ; the windows 
and porch were gracefully shaded with wood- 
bine. The garden was full of sweet brier, rose- 
bushes, and flowers of every variety. I stood 
still, as though enchanted by the beauty before 
me, and really forgot my sad errand th(;re. But 
the rough voice of the gardener soon brought 
to my recollection again my forlorn situation, 
as he exclaimed: "What do you \^ant here, 
girl ?" I told him I wished to see Mrs, Pierson. 
lie said, " She was in the house," at the same 
time looking at me as if he wondered what I 
could want with her. 

I pulled the bell with a trembling hand, and 
was soon ushered into the parlor by a servant • 
A lady entered; in her manner haughtiness 
blended with a certain show of kindness, J 



53 MARY L. DAY, 

slated my business, also, that I had lived with 
her friend Mrs. Stilings. She said I should 
come and live with her the next week. Upon 
leaving I asked permission to look at the flowers, 
which privilege she granted. After having en- 
joyed this pleasure awhile, I retraced my steps 
to Mrs. Stilings with a lightened heart, for I had 
once more a home. 

The next week, according to engagement, I 
undertook my duties at Mrs. P's. I had been 
there but a day or two, when she was taken 
very sick ; just at this time the servant left. It 
was well I knew how to work, for with Mr, P.'s 
assistance, I had to do all that was to be done. 
Every night it wonld be twelve o'clock before I 
laid my head upon my pillow, I would then 
cry myself to sleep, my limbs aching, and in- 
deed my whole body weary and full of pain. 
Four weeks things went on in this way, Mrs. P, 
unable to attend to any of her domestic duties. 

One Saturday evening, after I had completed 
all I had to do, Mrs. P. having recovered from 
her illness, I asked permission to go over to 
Mrs. Stilings.' My request was granted ; when 
I reached there it was dark, they were afraid to 



THE BLIND GIKL, 57 

iiave me return by myself, and there was no 
one to accompany me, so tliey persuaded me to 
remain all night, telling me Mrs. Pierson wo\ild 
not care. It was late the next morning before 
we arose, and the girls begged me to go to 
church with them. I yielded to their entreaties, ' 
and was soon neatly dressed from their ward- 
robes. Service over, I thought as I had spent 
so much of the day away from home, I would 
stay till evenin-g. When I reached Mrs. P.'s 
tea was over, and I could see nothing of her, 
for she had retired to her room. In the morn- 
ing I found she had another girl assisting her to 
prepare breakfast. I went to slice the bread, 
when Mrs. P. caught me by the arm, saying in 
a very decided manner: "I do not wish you 
ever to do another thing in my house." I at- 
tempted to explain my absence to her, but she 
would not hear it, but told me " to leave her 
house." I told her I had no home, and asked 
her what I was to do. She said : " She did not 
care — it was not her look-out." 

I went to my room, and throwing myself into 
a chair by the open window, gave myself up to 
harrowing, painful thoughts — "What shall I do? 
3* 



58 MARY L. DAY, 

"WTiere shall I go ? Wiio next will give me a 
home ? O father ! why do yon leave thiis alone 
and friendless your child? Why not come to 
me? 

"While thug mnsing, Mrs. P. sent for me to 
come to breakfast, but I could eat nothing in 
her house after she had spoken so unkindly to 
me. I tied up my little bundle of clothing and 
was soon ready for another start. I went to 
Mrs. P., and asked her to pay me for what I 
had done; she gave me two dollars, saying; 
" That was more than I had earned." I left the 
house, not knowing where to go ; sitting down 
on a log by the roadside, and gazing up and 
down its length as far as eye could reach, my 
heart grew sick, for I knew that in either direc- 
tion there was nr> n^^ +^ .a fQj jjjQ^ 



THE BLIND GIEL. 69 



CHAPTER YIII. 

" GESfEROTJS and righteous is thy grief, slighted child of sen* 
sibility ; 

For kindness enkindleth love, but the water of indifference 
quencheth it ; 

Thy soul is athirst for sympathy, and hungereth to find af- 
fection." Martin Tupper. 

" Oh ! dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 
Irrevocably dark, total eclipse, 
"Without all hope of day !" Milton. 

" Know, he that 
Foretells his own calamity, and makes 
Events before they come, twice over doth 
Endure the pains of evil destiny." DavenanT; 

It was a lovely June morning, tlie birds were 
merrily caroling their lays in the tree above my 
head ; scattered here and there at my feet was 
the beautiful wild pink, and not far off a rose 
bush laden with its fragrant blossoms which at 
another time I should have gathered and placed 
in water ; now I plucked and threw them from 
me, so mocking seemed they in their beauty. Yet 



60 MAEY L. DAY, 

tlie voice of the sweet birds raising Iiigli tlieii 
tuneful notes, clieered me, and I arose from my 
seat by tlie roadside to continue my wanderings, 
but my brain reeled and my limbs refused to sup- 
port me. When again conscious, I found my- 
self upon a bed surrounded by curtains ; draw- 
ing ihem aside and looking out, every thing ap- 
peared new and strange ; there was no person 
in the room. I made an effort to rise and walk 
to the window, but I was too weak ; just at this 
moment a lady entered. I asked her where I 
was ; a pleased expression passed over her coun- 
tenance upon finding me able to make inquiiies 
concerning myself. She informed me I had 
been quite ill for more than a week, but that I 
had found friends, and they had taken good care 
of me. 

I asked how I came there, but Mrs. Downly 
refused to tell me until I was stronger. In two 
weeks I was quite well again, when I learned 
the particulars of my illness. Mr. Downly, while 
passing in his carriage, saw me lying on the 
ground ; he thought me dead, but upon examin- 
ing my pulse, found I had fainted. He lifted me 
into his carriage, and conveyed me to his wife. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 61 

A physician being called in, he pronounced my 
disease congestion of the brain, caused by some 
great shock to my nervous system. 

My new friends, as may be supposed, were 
anxious to learn my name and history, which, 
when recovered, I narrated to them, not omit- 
ting Mrs. P.'s treatment ; at this they were 
greatly surprised, for knowing her well, they had 
not thought her capable of so much harshness. 
They had beheved her a Christian, one who re- 
vered and kept the holy injunctions laid down 
upon the sacred pages of the book of books. 
Mrs. Downly said I should remain with her until 
I was eighteen, at which time I would be better 
able to take care of and provide for myself. 

The rest of the summer passed very pleasantly. 
Mr. and Mrs. D. were kind, and 1 felt a guiding 
Providence had instructed my steps towards 
their door. But a greater trial than any I jad 
as yet endured was in store for me. It was now 
the last day of August. I was sitting at the front- 
window admiring the beautiful sky, so clear, so 
apparently transparent, one might have fancied 
they could have gazed through it into the far- 
beyond. So pleasant was it I turned from the 



62 MARY L. DAY, 

wiixdow and tliougtit to enjoy a walk in the gar- 
den. Upon opening the door, I was greatly as* 
tonished to see rising rapidly in the distance, 
one of the blackest clouds I had ever beheld. 
While watching its approach and heavy gather- 
ing masses, I called Mrs. Downly to come and 
look at It ; she said there would be a violent 
'ihunderstorm, and we hastened to close the win- 
dows and doors securely. 

I still stood watching the heavens, changed as 
they were ; there was no sound of thunder, no 
flash of lightning. Little thought I that dark 
Dortentous cloud would be the last my vision 
would rest upop Like a thing of power, it 
ntalked through <he sky and then disappeared 
Contrary to our expectations no rain followed. 
I am not or^^xstitious, but I have sometimes 
though^, irj'j mighty moving shadow was a pre- 
moni^jjo^i of the terrible cloud about to settle 
doviTx c.pon the horizon of my life — ^burjdng all 
thi^.jga in thick darkness. 

Towards evening of that long to be remem- 
bered day, I was attacked with severe pain in 
my eyes, yet I could not discover that they 
looked differently from what they usually had. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 63 

The light of the candle caused me great pain, 
and before retiring I observed the lids were very 
much swollen. I suffered intensely with them 
that night, and by the morning they were pain- 
fully inflamed, I had constantly to be wiping 
them to be able to see at all. They continued 
in this way until noon. I went to the looking- 
glass, and after wiping them about five minutes 
I could see distinctly. They then closed, and in 
less than twenty-four hours I was blind ! forever 
blind I 

The doctor was sent for; he prescribed a lotion, 
the application of which caused acute pain, and 
seemed to afford little or no relief — indeed, it did 
more harm than good. 

Every neighbor far and near advised a remedy, 
a number of which were tried during the follow- 
ing two weeks, my eyes still continuing to grow 
worse. Finally, a lady who in riding out was 
caught in a storm, and came into our house for 
protection, offered to effect a cure if I would re- 
turn home with her. Mis, D informed her of 
my friendless situation. Mrs. Weller said she 



t^ MAKY L. DAY, 

wouLi take me witli her and make every effort 
to Have my siglit restored ; and tliat I should 
remain with her as long as I desired. We 
started ; a seven miles' drive brought us to 
Marshall. It was here Mrs. Palmer had sent 
me out alone and unprotected six months pre- 
vious. How great a misfortune had befallen 
me in that time ! Mrs. "W. treated me with 
every kindness, and employed all the means in 
her power to effect the restoration of my sight, 
but in vain ; the inflammation instead of abating 
continued to increase. 

When I had been with Mrs. "W. a month, the 
whole family was taken sick with the ague and 
fever ; so ill were they, one could not wait upon 
the other, and worse than all, we had no means 
of support, for we depended upon Mr. "W.'s 
labor, and he was prostrated with the chills. 
Their parents lived about twenty miles in the 
country, and they were compelled to go home 
to them to be taken care of. Mrs. "W. said she 
would take me with them, and we all set out 
for Clarence. It was now the last of October. 

"We had not travelled many miles before Mr. 
and Mrs. Weller were attacked with chills ; the 



THE BLIND GIRL. 65 

jolting of the carriage and tlie lieat of the sun 
had given me a violent nervous headache. Mr. 
W. was so ill he could scarcely drive. It was 
quite dark when we reached his mother's door, 
The old lady came out and helped one after an- 
other from the carriage. Upon seeing me she 
asked : "Who is this you have with you ?" Mrs. 
"W. told her I was a little blind girl who had 
been living with them, to which information 
her mother replied : " Well, I think you had 
enough of your own to bring home sick without 
other people's." At the same time she was as 
kind to me as to her own children, and lifted 
me as tenderly from the carriage. I did not 
wonder at her expression after I had entered the 
house ; her daughter and husband and child 
were lying sick, having arrived the day before. 
As soon as we had taken off our bonnets, the 
old lady made me lie down while she bathed 
my head and temples with cold water, and placed 
a soothing poultice on my eyes. I can not por- 
tray the agony of dependence I experienced that 
night ; my friends were kind, very kind, but I 
had no claim upon them. Their acts of tender- 
ness and consideration caused my tears to flow 



66 MARY L. DAY, 

and my heart to aclie witli a keen sense of deso- 
latipn. But thoagli 

" The reed in storms may bow and quiver, 
'Twill rise again ;" 

while the oak of a century may be riven by a 
single blast. 

We were one mile from Mrs. "Weller's father's, 
and on the morrow we went there to remain for 
a while. Arrived at this second destination, we 
found Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. W.'s mother, quite ill. 
Mr. C. was a Quaker ; he took me by the hand 
and said, "I am sorry for thee, my dear," but 
his wife said: "She did not know what they 
brought me with them for." I did not mind 
her saying this, she was quite an invalid, and I 
thought when she was better she would feel less 
annoyed at my being there. Mr. C. was ex- 
tremely kind, and tried in every way to prevent 
my feeling uncomfortable or dependent. He 
said he thought he could cure my eyes, and after 
he had consulted the physician of the place, he 
would do what he could. The next day the 
doctor came ; he directed me to be kept in a 
dark room for four weeks, with bread and mo- 
lasses as diet ; besides this, I had every second 



THE BLIND GIRL. 67 

day to undergo an operation upon my eyes giv- 
ing me the most intense and excruciating pain. 

Just at tliis time another physician hearing of 
my blindness, called to examine my eyes ; upon 
inspection he gave it as his opinion they could 
be cured, and my sight restored in three weeks. 
I was willing to endure any amount of suffering 
to be able once again to see. They were so sen- 
sitive, I could not bear to touch them with the 
softest handkerchief. 

The doctor prepared a compound of dissolved 
alum and rum, and raising the eyelid applied to 
the eyeball a linen cloth saturated in the wash ; 
this was so painful, I fainted while submitting 
to it. After I recovered I would not let him 
touch the other eye, which made him very an- 
gry, and he cursed me bitterly. Upon leaving 
the house I heard him say : ^^Ihope she will nevei 
see .^" He has had his wish ! I have never seen 
aught above or around me since that time. 

" With the year 
Seasons return, but not to me returns 
Day, or the sweet approach of even or mom, 
Or si gilt of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ; 
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 
Surrounds me." Milton. 



MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTER IX. 

* I STRiTE to sing and smile, but ah ! there presses 
A gloomy pall upon me — I am blind." Amelia Welby. 

' A EEA M of comfort, like the moon through clouds, 

Gilds the black horror, and directs my way." Deiden 

" Be strong to hope, Heart ! 
Though day is bright. 
The stars can only shine 

In the dark night." Proctor. 

" And whispers are heard full of Nature and Truth, 
Saying : ' Don't you remember ?' " Eliza Cook. 

As I have before stated, Mr. Clarke had said 
he could work a cure for me ; tlie efforts of the 
two doctors having failed, he thought he would 
at least try and allay the inflammation. 

He went to the woods and dug some roots ; 
of them he made tea, which I was to drink, also 
to apply externallj^ as a wash. In two weelcs I 
was greatly relieved, the inflammation had dis- 
appeared, yet I could not see. So great bless- 
ing was denied me, and it became my duty to 



THE BLIND GIRL. 69 

bow to His will who, liad it been best for me, 
could have decreed : " Eeceive thj sight." Life 
would indeed, have known less of trial, had my 
vision been restored, but His ways, though in- 
scrutable, are wise, and I fain would with an 
unmurmuring heart submit to that which he ha i 
seen fit should befall me — ^praying : 

" Wisdom at one entrance, quite shut out, 

So much the rather, thou Celestial Light, 
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers 
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all must from thence, 
Purge and disperse." 

Mr. "Weller finding there were no hopes of 
mv regaining my sight, grew very weary of me. 
He and Mrs. Clarke were constantly telling me 
how dependent I was, sometimes treating me 
with the greatest unkinclness, and threatening 
to send me to the poor-house. This terrified 
me greatly, as I had always imagined it a dark, 
dismal prison. In this part of the country 
there were ofiicers appointed to look after the 
sick and the friendless, and if a certain amount 
would cover their necessities and the services of a 
physician, these were rendered ; if not, they were 
sent to the almshouse. To one of these officers 



70 MARY L. DAY, 

Mr. "Weller applied in my behalf. A few days 
after, while lying upon the sofa, two gentlemen 
came in and inquired for me. The truth flashed 
upon my mind. I begged and entreated them 
not to take me to the poor-house. Mr. Cook, 
one of the gentlemen, lifted me from the sofa 
aud held me caressingly and tenderly in his* 
arms, quieting my fears by telling me " he was 
not going to take me there, but that he had 
brought a doctor to examine my eyes." This 
was done, but the result was futile — ^he could 
but decide they were incurable. 

I clung to Mr. Cook, afraid he would leave 
.me. I told him how unwelcome, and what a 
burden T was considered by those with whom 
he found me. He asked if I would like to go 
home with him. I could only answer with a 
flood of tears, not of grief, but of overflowing 
joy and thankfulness. He lifted me into the 
carriage, and we drove to his home. It was 
now the 15th day of January, and I was in 
my twelfth year. I had been blind three 
months. Late in the afternoon we arrived at 
our journey's end. Mr. C. conveyed me from 
the carriage to the door, where we were met by 



THE BLIND GIRL. 71 

his wife. She took me kindlj by tlie hand, 
while Mr. C. told her who I was, saying: 
" Fannie, I have brought this poor child home 
to live with us ; we have seven children, but I 
think we have bread enough for them and her 
too ; take her, dear Fannie, and be as a mother 
to her." I could feel that she was weeping tears 
of sympathy for me. Taking me by the hand, 
she led me into the warm parlor and seated me 
in a cushioned rocking-chair by the fire. She 
said I was " too thinly clad for that season of 
the year, and it was a wonder I had not frozen, 
so scantily supplied." 

She told me she had five daughters and two 
sons, and just then they came bounding in, a 
band of joyous children. They were surprised 
to see me, but their mother informed them who 
the little stranger was, and that she was going 
to live with and be one of their family, and 
they must love me as a sister. They kissed me 
affectionately, and divided with me their toys. 
Benjamin, the oldest of tbe group, tried in every 
way to amuse and entertain me. Such kindness 
was more than I could bear, and tears would 
come in defiance of all effort to restrain them. 



72 MAKi L. DAY, 

The next morning I found a suit of new and 
warm clothing prepared for me. After I had 
dressed, and Mrs. C. had carefully curled nij 
hair, I was much improved in appearance ; so 
great change had a single day with m}^ new 
friends made in me. 

To employ my time, it was jiroposed I should 
learn to knit ; at first I thought this impossible 
as I could not see, but they persuaded me to try. 
Often when I would become impatient at my 
slow improvement, and almost in vexation, 
would toss my knitting from me, Mrs. C. would 
pick it up, repair my errors, and cheerfully say 
to me: " Mary, 

" ' If at first you don't succeed, 
Try, try again.' " 

Her sweet and encouraging tones would in- 
spire me with a still more earnest desire to ac- 
complish my task. In about a year I learned 
to knit a pair of stockings, find I assure you it 
was no small gratification to me, my acquired 
knowledge. 

The children were all fond of reading ; no- 
thing gave them greater pleasure than to read 



THE BLIND GIRL. <3 

aloud to me. Whenever Beujamiu found a 
book he thought I would like, he would awuit, 
some opportunity when I could listen while he 
afforded me so agreeable a pastime. 

I became so accustomed to the house and 
grounds, I could walk about without a guide, 
even go to a neighbor's quite alone. I was 
never happier than when I had done any little 
thing to please my benefactress ; she would 
always most generously reward my every effort. 
It was part of her faith to commend a child 
when it had done Vv^ell, thereby inducing a fu- 
ture endeavor to deserve a kind word or ap- 
proving smile. 

Mr. C. had a brother living in the village 
who had a blind daughter, named Almeada, a 
year younger than mj-self We became much 
attached to each other, and spent a great deal 
of our time together. I had also another friend 
in the village, Elder liobert, a Methodist minis- 
ter; with him and his family I passed many 
happy days. On one occasion he presented me 
with a copy of the Bible, which I still have, 
and from which I often have read to me a veree 
he marked : " Him that cometh unto me, I will 
4 



MAKY L. DAY 



m no wi^e cast out." He lias since gone to 
California, "but is still mj friend. 

Being now able to knit pretty well, I felt 
anxious to do something towards supporting 
myself. I tli ought I would ask one of our 
neighbors to let me do the usual winter knitting 
bsr household required. These arrangements 
I had planned in mj own mind ; when I com- 
municated them to Mrs. C, she rather dissuaded 
me from making the attempt, fearing it would 
be more than I would be able to accomplish. 
In the afternoon, however, the lady of whom I 
ha.! thought, came to our house, and I asked 
her to let me do her knitting. She appeared 
pleased with my desire to do something towards 
making a livelihood, and said I should come to 
her house and knit by the week. 

The next morning I entered upon my engage- 
ment. My remuneration was a dollar a week. 
From this time I could command as much and 
more than I could possibly do, and in this way 
supported myself for four years. 

I was very sorry to be away from ilr. and 
Mrs. Cook, and the children, they had been so 
kind to me. The first week I missed them all 



THE ELIND GlEL. 75 

sadly. Only an orchard lay between Mrs. Wil- 
son s and their farm ; every morning I would 
take my seat in the front-door just as the sun 
was rising, and listen for the dear familiar 
sounds from Mrs. Cook's yard ; but the sweetest 
far, were the tones of her own loved voice. I 
longed to be with them all, yet more earnest 
was my desire not to be a burden to my friends. 
I felt an honest pride in providing for myself 
while T had health and strength, 

I had been with Mrs. Cook three years, when 
I received a letter from my sister in Chicago, 
stating she was married, and for some time had 
been trying to gain intelligence as to my where- 
abouts. She had found brother Charles, and he 
was living with her, and she wished me to join 
them. It seemed so singular I should receive a 
letter from my sister, not having heard from 
any of my family for so long a time. I was 
very desirous to see her, but felt as though I 
could not tear myself away from my dear 
friends who had so faithfully supplied the place 
of father, mother, brothers and sisters. We 
corresponded for two years, she urging mo in 
every letter to come to her. Finally she sent 



V6 MAPY L. DAY, 

r.ie a paper containing tlie advertisement of a 
colebrated oculist, said to be performing almost 
m'raculous cures in Chicago. 

This decided me to attempt tlie journey. I 
had been with. Mr. and Mrs C. five years, and 
had had no opportunity of procuring skillful 
treatment of my eyes, Hope once more bid 
me anticipate a morrow, when should be re- 
moved the misty veil and I again see. I resolved 
to go to my sister and place myself under the 
advice of this famed oculist. 



THE BLIND GIRL. ?7 



CHAPTEE X. 

" I TRATEL all the Irksome night, 
By ways to me unknown." 

MONTGOMEKT. 

" From the sad years of life, 
We sometimes do short hours, yea minutes, strike, 
Keen, blissful, bright, never to be forgotten, 
Which through the dreary gloom of time o'erpast, 
Shine like fair sunny spots on a wild waste." 

Joanna Bail; 'b. 
" And whether we shall meet again, I know not; 
Therefore, an everlasting farewell take : 
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile ; 
If not, why, then this parting was well made." 

Shakspeap^. 

By the second week in January, (a fortnigni 
after my determination to go,) I was ready to 
start. The day of my departure Mrs. Coolv took 
me into her room, where we were joined by Mr 
C. Both gave me much good advice and coun- 
sel ; their every word was carefully treasured 
in my memory, and has often been retrospec^d 
since that time. 



7S MARY L. DAY, 

They told me I had been a good girl, and had 
never done any thing to displease them ; they 
also said, if they had ever spoken unkindly to 
me I must forget it. They thought it natural I 
should desire to be with my sister, but assured 
me if I needed a home their door would be 
open to me and a hearty welcome ready. If I 
at any time required assistance, I was to write 
and let them know, and it should be forthcom- 
ing. 

The sleigh now made itself heard by the 
merry jinghng of the bells ; but they sounded not 
joyously as was their wont. They seemed the 
parting knell of the fond associations I had cher- 
ished. The final moment came ; how can 1 de- 
scribe what to me was so fraught with ano-uish ? 
Mr. Cook accompanied me to the cars ; before 
we were one mile from home the vfeather was 
so extremely cold, my cheeks were frost-bitten, 
and I had to hold snow to them to draw the 
frost out. We soon reached the depot, and Mr. 
C. procured me a comfortable seat by the stove. 
lie then bade me good-b}'' aad left me. Once 
again I was a lonely wanderer among strangei's. 
How devious has been the way by which I have 
been led I 



THE BLIND GIRL. 79 

"We travellacl but sIoavI}^ on account of tlie 
Biiow-bnnks tliat covered tlie track. Ko one 
spoke to me during the day except the conduc- 
tor. Just as evenins; was settinor in, the cars ran 
into a snow-bank eiglit feet high ; tbej tried to 
force their way through it, but this attempt was 
about half-completed when they could get no 
flirther. We \yere within a quarter of a mile of 
Kalamazoo. The conductor informed us it 
would be impossible for the ladies to get out, 
and that the gentlemen would have to crawl out 
and procure fuel and provision for us. He said 
the}^ had sent to Marshall for another engine to 
extricate us from our difficulty, but it would not 
be there before morning. I was not alarmed, as 
I had learned there wag no real danger. My 
seat by the stove was very comfortable, and my 
carpet-bag contained plenty of refreshment, 
thanks to my thoughtful friend, Mrs. C. While 
I was sitting thinking of the dear ones I had 
left, the pleasant home where they were, even 
then, doubtless, speaking kindly and tenderlj 
of me, a gentleman came to me, and opened a 
conversation by inquiring howl liked the prob- 
ability of being snow-bound till morning ; also 



80 iTARY L. DAY, 

asking me if " I were near-siglited." I told him 
"so mucli so I could not see at all." He then 
offered to take me under liis protection until ^' e 
were removed from the snow-bank. I thanked 
him, and told him how glad I was to meet with 
a friend. He took a seat by me, and entertained 
me by narrating similar misfortunes during his 
travels. He thought we were very fortunate to 
be so near a town. 

My friend told me he was on his way home to 
see his mother, whom he had not seen for seven 
years, and I in turn, informed him I was going 
to visit a sister and brother I had not seen since 
I Avas a very little child. We became quite so- 
ciable ; it seemed as if I had always known him. 
Our attention was now drawn to a comical Yan- 
kee among the passengers, who was amusing 
them by relating various adventures he had had. 
His appearance was as grotesque as his conver- 
sation was ludicrous : his pants were of almost 
every color, his vest of variegated calico, and, 
besides a buckskin coat, a pair of nondescript 
boots, he wore an old slouched hat distorted into 
the most inconceivable kind of shape. After 
ha\ang entertained us for some time, he arose 



THE BLIND GIKL. 81 

from his seat and exclaimed : " Tiie rules say you 
must not put your feet on the cushions, but 
they say nothing about keeping a fellow all 
night in a snow-bank." Having made this 
speech, he so arranged two of the seats as to 
make a pretty comfortable couch, and throwing 
himself upon it was soon in the land of dreams, 
snoring most sonorously, no doubt in unison 
with the fancies flitting through his brain. 

The passengers were becoming weary of con- 
versation ; my kind friend urged me to feel no 
delicacy in reclining my head upon his shoiUder. 
I thanked him, but refused, partly because he 
was a stranger, and then I did not feel very 
drowsy. 

At two o'clock the locomotive arrived, run- 
ning against us with great force, almost pushing 
us through the bank. The shock was so sud- 
den, it quite discomposed our Yankee friend, 
throwing him from his sleeping-place, and part 
of his temporary accommodations with him. He 
sprang to his feet and, looking much frightened, 
exclaimed : " Golly, have they got snow-banks 
in this ere world, too ?" The passengers bn rst 
out laughing. He told us he had dreamed he 
4* 



82 MARY L. DAY, 

had been killed and liad awakened in anotker 
world. 

I was now becoming very weary, and Mr. 
Chamberlain proposed making me a bed upon a 
sofa in the ladies' saloon, to which I readily as- 
sented. Several gentlemen offered me their buf- 
falo-robes ; with these and one of the cushions, 
r soon had a very comfortable napping-place. 
"When I had lain down, Mr. C. threw a buffalo- 
robe, he had nicely warmed by the stove, over 
me, and then left, bidding me rap and he would 
come to me, when I had refreshed myself with 
as long a nap as I might desire. 

I was soon fast asleep, and do not know how 
long I might have continued so, if I had not, in 
making an effort to turn myself upon my very 
narrow couch, rolled from it on to the floor, 
making a terrible noise. I was almost as much 
frightened as was my chance friend, the Yankee. 
Mr. Chamberlain soon had the door unlocked, 
to ascertain what had happened. He laughed 
heartily on hearing I had fallen from my bed. 
He led me again to my warm seat by the stove. 

It was now nine o'clock ; the morning clear, 
cold, and frosty ; and there were no prospects 



THE BLIND GIIIL. 83 

of our being extricated from tlie snow-bank tliat 
day. The water in the engines had frozen, and 
had to be thawed before any probability could 
exist of effecting a removal. The gentlemen 
went out and procured for us provision to last 
the day. Had I been his sister, Mr. Chamber- 
lain could not have taken better and more ten- 
der care of me. "When I would thank him, he 
would say : " I am doing no more than I would 
wish any one to do for my sister, were she situ- 
ated as you are." He asked me if I was fond 
of i^eading;. I told him I was. He then brousrht 

o o 

several books and passed the remainder of the 
day reading to me. 

At nio-htfall we were not much nearer start- 

O 

ing than the evening previous. It was very 
wearisome waiting so long ; the delay seemed 
very tedious. What little sleep I had, was upon 
Mr. C.'s shoulder ; my slight timidity in avail- 
ing myself of his kind offer the night before, 
having entirely vanished : his kindness and gen- 
tlemanly attention had won my perfect confi 
dence. He told me, " Several of the passenger? 
had asked if I was not his sister," and that " he- 
had told them I was, and said I should tell them 



8-1 MARY L. DAY, 

the same if any inquired of me." The next 
morning, wliile Mr. C. was absent from tlie car, 
ordering our breakfast, a lady took a seat beside 
me, and after preferring a great many questions, 
slie asked: "If the gentleman with me was my 
brother ?" I answered as I had been instructed, 
upon which she remarked : "I knew he was, for 
he looks exactly like you." So much for fam- 
ily resemblances. 

That afternoon, we left the cars, Mr. C. and 
myself, and enjoyed a comfortable dinner at the 
hotel, thinking it preferable to remaining longer 
where so many shared accommodations. "We also 
spent the afternoon at the hotel, as the cars were 
not to start till evening. "While sitting upon the 
sofa, my friend came and sat by me, and taking 
my hand in his, said : " Miss Mary, I have been 
travelling the last seven years, and have met 
with a great many ladies, but have never seen 
one who interested me as you have." I told 
him : " I did not know what I should have done 
Lad I not met with him." 

"We passed the afternoon in pleasant conver- 
sation : he relating his travels and consequent 
adventures, some grave and some gay. We 



THE BLIND GIRL. 85 

were startled by tlie car-wliistle, and hurried to 
regain our former agreeable seat by the stove. 
The weather had greatly moderated since morn- 
ing, and there being quite a vigorous fire in the 
stove, I felt myself fainting. I remembered Mr. 
C. trying to open the window, and then became 
perfectly oblivious to all around me, until upon 
recovering, I found myself out upon the plat- 
form supported by the arm of my iriend, while 
with the other hand he was bathing my temples. 
Several ladies were standing by, anxious to ren- 
der some service. The first words I heard were : 
" Sister, do you feel better now ?" To which 
kind inquiry I responded with my heart rather 
than with my lip, for his tenderness really seem- 
ed the gentle ministering of some good Samar- 
itan. 

The passengers were all delighted to be once 
again on the move, and a glad huzza went up 
as their farewell to Kalamazoo. Nothing fur- 
ther of importance happened until we reached 
Niles, at which place a man got into the cars 
and took a seat just back of us. He disputed 
loudly with the conductor about paying his fare ; 
from this and other indications, we soon discov- 



86 MARY L. DAY, 

ered lie was intoxicated. After lie had paid his 
fare, and the conductor had passed on, he slap- 
ped me on the shoulder in a very rude manner, 
at the same time saying : " Mj pretty miss, you 
had better take a seat round here by me." Mr. 
0. sprang to his feet in an instant, exclaiming : 
*' Villain, what do you mean by insulting my 
lady ? if you do not take a seat in some other 
part of the car, I will pitch you out into the 
snow-bank." To my great relief he acted upon 
Mr. C.'s threat immediately. 

At one o'clock, we reached Michigan City, 
where we were to remain till morning. When 
the cars stopped, Mr. C. told me to sit still while 
he went out and attended to our baggao-e. He 
had been absent but a few minutes when a man 
stepped up to me and asked if I was not going to 
a hotel. I informed him I was, as soon as my 
friend returned. He said I had better go with 
him. I declined. He insisted upon my doing 
so, and asked if the gentleman with me was my 
brother. Just then my noble friend came up, 
and I felt greatly relieved when I found him 
near. "While walking to the hotel, he inquired 
what the man whom he saw speaking to me had 



THE BLIND GIRL. 87 

said. I repeated to him what had pass?d be- 
tween us, and he informed that thoiigli I did 
not know him, it was the same man who had 
been so insulting to me in the cars, and that if 
I had gone with him, he would never have seen 
me again. I felt his arm tremble as though 
with indignation. 

"We had reached the hotel, where wx procured 
supper. On going to the parlor the next morn- 
ing, I found Mr. 0. alone. He arose and seated 
m-e ; then said we would have to part, for he 
was compelled to take the stage, for his home 
twelve miles distant. He frankly told me he 
would not leave me until he had placed me in 
charge of my friends, but that his money was 
expended, leaving him barely sufficient for the 
remainder of his journey. He offered to place 
me under the protection of some one who would 
take equally as good care of me as he had en- 
deavored to do, 



88 MAKY L. DAT, 



CHAPTER XI. 

•• Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene ; 
Resumes them, to prepare us for the next." 

Young. 

" Jot ! the lost one is restored ! 
Sunshine comes to hearth and board." 

Hemai^s. 

" Absence, with all its pains, 
Is by this charming moment wiped away." 

Thomson's Agamemnon, 

Mr. Chamberlain left me to institute a search 
for some one travelling in the same direction I 
was. He soon returned with a gentleman, whom 
he introduced as Mr. Hicks. He was very po- 
lite, but did not make so favorable an impres- 
sion upon me as had my first friend. The bell 
rang, the signal "All aboard" was given. Mr, C. 
having procured me an agreeable seat, and 
wrapped me in Mr. Hicks' buffalo-robe, left me 
with the parting injunction not to forget him, 
and to write as soon as I reached my journey's 
end. He had checked my baggage and bought 



THE BLIND GTEL. 89 

my ticket, indeed had paid all my expenses 
since I met him. I offered to pay him, but he 
refused, saying I must find some other appro- 
priation for my money. Again he told me I 
must never forget him, which injunction was all 
unneeded. I could not cease to recollect and 
cherish kindness such as he had tendered. He 
had pressed my hand for the last time and was 
gone. I wept as if indeed I had parted with a 
beloved brother. 

Mr. Hicks was a Califomian, and shortly after 
we had started, seven other Californians joined 
him and took seats by us. On observing I was 
blind, they each gave me a gold dollar, which 
Mr. H. said I would do perfectly right to accept. 
The Central Railroad at this time did not go 
through to Chicago, and we had twenty-five 
miles to travel by stage. Offering the amount 
for my fare, I was told it had already been paid 
by the gentleman who had previously been so 
generous to me. It was now mid-day, and we 
were seated in the stage to complete our jour- 
ney after the fashion of " auld lang syne." "We 
got along very well ; I had dined while waiting 
for the stage, therefore did not feel as wearied 
as I otherwise should have done. 



90 MARY L. DAY, 

It was nearl}^ dark wlien we readied tlie Cil v 
Hotel in Chicago. Upon alighting from the 
stage a gentleman stepped, -forward and offered 
to pay mj fare ; I thanked him, but told him it 
had already been attended to. Mr. H. secured 
a room for me, while he went out in search of 
my friends, who had not been informed as to 
what time I should be with them. While he 
was absent, I made my toilet with more than 
usual care, as my brother and sister had not 
seen me for so many years — indeed, since I was 
a child. 

Not far from the hotel Mr. H. met a young 
man, of whom he asked if he could direct him 
where to find a person by the name of Charles 
Day. Singular as the coincidence may seem, 
that was his name. Mr. H. informed him : " His 
sister had been placed under his protection part 
of the journey to Chicago, and that she was at 
the hotel." Without waiting to hear another 
word, he hastened to meet me, and we were 
once more clasped in a loving, fond embrace. 
" Is it possible this is my darling sister ?" were 
his first words. He kissed me over and over 
again. After remaining with me a short time, 



THE BLIN7) GIRL. 91 

he left, saying lie -would soon return. I won- 
dered at Ills not taking me with him instead of 
desiring me to remain alone until he should 
bring our sister. 

Reaching sister's he said: "Jinnie, who do 
vou think is at the City Hotel ?" " I do not 
know," was her reply. " Why, sister Mary !" 
"How does she look?" was her first inquiry. 
" Look ! I wish you could see her," said Charles, 
" she's an awfal-looking somebody ; she has 
hair as red as fire, with hand and foot as large 
as mine, I do believe, and then too, she is awk- 
ward and ignorant." " Was she well dressed?" 
said sister. " Well, I think she had a faded calico 
on." But my clear sister resolved as far as pos- 
sible to remedy all deficiencies, though she could 
not change the color of my hair, or the size oi 
my hand and foot, as represented by my mis- 
chief-loving brother. Charles was commissioned 
to go for and bring me home, as sister could 
not well leave her family. 

Aft?r he had started on his errand, Jinnie'a 
husband was informed of my arrival ; and it 
was thought best to prepare their servant for 
my very nnprepossessing appearance. 



92 MART L. DAY, 

A sliort ride, and I "was at my sister's home. 
I knew nothing of what had passed as to my 
personal or mental endowments, nor cared I. 
It was happiness indeed, once more to be near 
those so dear to me ; and clasped once again in 
a loving sister's embrace. After Charles had 
led me to the parlor, he ran away to his own 
home, not far distant, for he had been some 
three weeks married. Sister neglected to intro- 
duce me to her husband, in her haste to take 
my bonnet off to ascertain if my hair was really 
red ; after having duly examined it with a light 
near by, she presented him to me ; he greeted 
me most cordially and affectionately, saying: 
" He was glad to have a sister, for he had never 
had one." 

"When somewhat -rested and refreshed, he 
entered into conversation with me, to ascertain 
how ignorant I was, I suppose. I narrated to 
him the incidents of my journey, not omitting 
the many kindnesses I had received, "While so 
doing I afterwards learned Ellen, the Irish girl, 
peeped in through the open door at me. When 
sister went out to give directions for tea, she ex- 
claimed : " Why, what a story-teller Mr. Charles 



THE BLIND GIRL. 93 

is; vrhj, she's a real ladj, and she liasn't got 
red hair, nor large feet and hands neither !" 

Sister and I sat up nearly the whole night, 
recounting our past lives, and all the hardships 
we had endured since our dear mother's death. 
She had undergone almost as numerous vicissi- 
tudes as I had. At the age of sixteen, however, 
she was married to one of the best of husbands ; 
thus finding a protector and counsellor who had 
tenderly shielded and guarded her. 

The next morning Charles came in and offered 
me one of his gloves to try on. The joke was 
then told me, and I with the rest laughed at the 
very comical representation he had given of me. 
My wardrobe was examined by sister, and pro 
nounced somewhat out of date. 

In a few days Doctor was called in to 

examine my eyes ; he pronounced them incur- 
able ; this announcement made me very unhap- 
py, for I had hoped to find relief Shortly after 

this, Dr. was consulted. He professed 

to have performed great cures, and thought he 
could in my case do the same, but that it would 
require three months' treatment, occasionally 
operating — also placing me under a regular 
course of medicine. 



94 MAKY L. DAY, 

I was quite hopeful at tlie prospect of regain- 
ing-^ my siglit; and once again being able to 
look out upon this beautiful world, filled with 
the handiwork of the Most High. According 

to appointment Dr. with several students, 

came to perform the operation ; he desired the 
presence of the latter, that thej might benefit 
watching so delicate an effort of skill. It was 
extremely painful, almost more than I could 
bear, but hope buoyed me up. And as a sort of 
balm or soiihing palliative, just as it was over 
ct'.me a letter from Mr. Chamberlain, in answer 
to one I had sent, informing him of my safe ar- 
rival, also of the contemplated operation upon 
my eyes. A week only elapsed between the 
forwa.:ding of iwy letter and the receipt of his 
answer. Three months passed, and my vision 
was neither reetoicd nor improved. 

The close atmovphere of the city, and the ex- 
penditure of pbyT'jal strength the operations 
upon m}^ eyes had occasioned, had told fearfully 
upon my h'.vilth ; i]j leed, it seemed utterly shat- 
tered. Oh I how J bnged to be once more in 
my country- Lr»m&. Sometimes I would think I 
would go to Mrs Oook, and never leave her 



THE ELIND GIKL. . to 

again ; but tlien tliis would not be treating "with 
proper consideration the kindness of my rela- 
tives. Every second week came a sweet and 
welcome letter from Mrs. Cook, affording me 
unutterable deligbt. 

That long tedious summer passed, leaving me 
delicate and frail. Sister Jinnie, Charles and 
Mr. Barton, were all attentive to me, and if af- 
fection and tenderness could have reiiiitated 
my health, I should not long have been aj in 
valid. 



>. 96 ■ v:ary l. day, 



CHAPTEE XII. 

" Tdk joys of meeting pay the pangs of absence." 

Rowe's Tamerlane, 

•• And doth not a meeting like this make amends 
For all the long years I've been wandering away ?" 

Asoy. 

• 1 CAN not speak, tears so obstruct my words, 

And choke me with unutterable joy." 

Ottvay 

" On ! art thou found ? 

But yet to find thee thus !" 

Vespers of Palermo. 

*' Ah me ! what hand can touch the string so fine ! 
Who up the lofty diapason roll 
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine ?" 

Thomson. 

My brotlaer-iii-law was a carriage- maker, and 
carried on tlie business in Chicago, Charles being 
his ])artner. One day, while Mr. B. had left the 
shop to go to dinner, a very gentlemanly young 
man entered and inquired of Charles if Mr. X, 
A. Barton were in. On being told he had gone 
to dinner, he took a seat as if to wait his return. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 97 

Charles asked him : " If he wished to get some 
work done ; if he did, he was Mr. Barton's part- 
ner, and could arrange matters with him." The 
gentleman then said : "He had not called to have 
work done, but he had heard Mr. Barton was 
]:is brother-in-law, and had come to ascertain if 
it were true." Charles looked at him intently 
for a moment, and then exclaimed : " Is it pos- 
sible this is William Day ? If so, we are bro- 
thers, for I am Charles Day." .The truth needed 
no second confirmation ; in an instant they we]"e 
in each other's arms and no words can justly re- 
present the joy of that meeting. Mr. Barton en- 
tered the shoj), and Chailes with pleasure beam- 
ing in his countenance, introduced his long-lost 
brother William. He welcomed him heartily, 
for' he was anxious our family should be re- 
united. 

Sister and I were sitting in the nursery ; Mi\ 
B came in and told us a gentleman in the parlor 
wished to see us. We went down immediately ; 
on entering, Mr. B. asked sister if she had ever 
seen his friend before. To which she answered 
that "she thought not." The stranger then said : 
" Have you forgotten your brother William ?" 



98 MAliY L, DAY, 

"We botli ran to him, and were most fondly held 
to his heart. He seated me upon his knee, and 
gazing into my face discovered I was blind [ 
Oh I the anguish of that moment. Large tears 
of sympathy rolled down his manly cheeks, and 
in speechless agony he pressed me to his bosom. 

When his emotion had sufficiently subsided 
to allow him to speak, he bent over me and in 
low soft tones whispered : " Sister, it is the will 
of God, it is all right." This calmed my wildly 
throbbing heart, and I felt I could submit to 
my affliction, although forever shut out from me 
was the face of him I so dearly loved, save as 
memory had portrayed it years»ago. I could 
say : "Thy will and not mine be done, Lord !" 

Four of our long-separated family were now 
reiinited. Where were the remaining two? 
Father and brother Howard ? Where had they 
wandered? Unchecked the wish arose that 
they ere long might be added to our group. 

Until a late hour that night we were recapit- 
ulating the various scenes of our lives. We 
found each had suffered, but mine had been the 
most heavily clouded, and was too sorrowful to 
shadow our first evening together. Kor will 



THE BLIND GIRL. 99 

in J fatlier, brothers or sister kno'^/ all it fell to 
my lot to endure, till they scan, tl c simple story 
contained in these pages. 

Brother William told us he h<^d been living 
in Eacine, Wisconsin, the last nine years, with 
the same persons with whom father had left him. 
He had always been treated by them with great 
kindaess ; indeed they had been like parents to 
him. In a few days he departed from us to re- 
turn home, promising to make every inquiry 
concerning Howard, our youngest brother. 

Upon bidding me farewell h© placed in my 
hand twenty-live dollars, telling vie to give it to 
my doctor, it might encourage Lim to do his ut- 
most to restore my sight. 

Fall and winter passed ; my sight was in no 
way improved, and my health was declining. 
My sister was now keeping a large boarding- 
house, and I must not forget to mention the 
many kindnesses of the boarders to me. There 
was one in particular, whose attention and 
friendly offices I shall ever remember. He made 
(joustant sacrifices of his leisure to sit by me and 
read or write for me. He also frequently enter- 
tained me by playing on the flute, in which he 



100 . MARY L. DAY, 

was quite skilled : his favorite melody too was 
the one my dear departed mother so much loved, 
" Home, sweet, sweet Home." Often have I 
been soothed listening to the plaintive strains, 
for they recalled her angel presence, yet ever as 
the dulcet notes would die away would come the 
sad truth, she had left me, never to return. Oh 1 

" I miss thee, my mother ! thy image is still 
' The deepest impressed on my heart, 
And the tablet so faithful, in death must be chill, 
Ere a line of that image depart." 

One bright day during that spring, while bro- 
ther Charles was walking down Eandolph street, 
he met a youth who inquired of him where Mr. 
Barton, a carriage manufacturer, could be found. 
He told him he was then on his way there, and 
if he would accompany him he would conduct 
him to the gentleman's establishment. 

As they walked along, the stranger informed 
Charles he had just arrived in the Michigan 
cars, and was entirely unacquainted in the city. 
On reaching the shop, and brother indicating to 
liira which was Mr. Barton, he stepped up to 
him aod said : "Do not think me impertinent 



TUE BLIXD GIRL, .101 

if I ask the name of the lady you married." 
Mr. B. told him. Virginia Day. To which, the 
stranger replied : "She is my sister." There was 
a second affectionate greeting in that shop be- 
tween brothers, after wliich they came to the 
house. Sister was in the parlor ; on hearing 
the door open, she looked around. Her eye 
rested a moment on the stranger, when with an 
eager cry of joy she sprang towards him, exclaim- 
ing : " O Howard ! Howard ! my darling bro- 
ther !" She brushed the hair back from his fore- 
head, and gazed with pride upon his noble coun- 
tenance. 

At this time I was confined to my bed, and 
sister in speaking of me narrated to him my great 
affliction. With extreme caution they informed 
me of his arrival, lie came to my room, and 
when clasped in those manly arms I could scarce 
believe it was the little brother I had parted 
from years before. 

In a few days I was able to sit up ; we sent 
for brother William. He came, and the houi 
we had so longed for had at last arrived. We 
were once again a united family save the pre- 
sence of our father. All thought him dead ex- 



102 MARY L. DAY, 

cept myself. I always felt we should meet again. 
Brother "WiDiam after spending a few days with 
us returned home, brother Howard remaining 
to learn a trade with Mr. Barton. 

Like myself, he had met with much unkind 
treatment. The persons with whom father placed 
him after a short time elapsed, cast him off, not 
caririg what became of him. He was anxious 
to acquire knowledge. As soon as he was large 
enough to work, he toiled early and late to earn 
sufficient to purchase clothing, pay his board, 
and durins; the winter season attend school. In 
this way he received a fair education, and is now 
in Iowa, engaged in business for himself. 

My health continuing to decline, my brother 
in Racine sent for me to pay a visit, thinking a 
chansre misrht be beneficial to me. The second 

O O 

of September I start jd. Mr. Baiton took me to 
the boat, and seated me in the cabin. A g ntle- 
man came up to me and asked if I bad consump- 
tion. I told him I hoped not. Taking a seat 
beside me, he examined ni}' pulse and info«'n)cd 
me I would not live three months if I continued 
ihe treatment I had been undergoing. He then 
invited me to walk on deck. The day was bean- 



THE BLJXl) GIRL. 103 

tiful, and Lake Michigan calm, peaceful, serene. 
I had not long enjoyed the open air and sky 
before I felt refresked ; my spirits also became 
quite enlivened. Dr. Clark was so agreeable and 
entertaining. He was on his way to Milwaukee, 
but said he should stop long enough at Racme 
to see me safely with my friends. Brother Wil- 
liam met me at the boat. The doctor did not 
bid me good-by till I was seated in the car- 
riage. Then he bade me adieu, hoping I would 
'soon regain my kealth. I never exchanged 
words of friendship with him again, but in my 
heart his memory hath a sunny nook. 



104 MARY L. DAT, 



CHAPTER XIII, 

*' Thy voice is sweet as if it took 

Its music from thy face." Miss Landon. 

"ANb should'st thou ask my judgment of that which hath 
most profit in the world, 
For answer, take thou this : The prudent penning of a 
letter."* Tupper. 

" Lay her i' the earth ; 
And from her fair and unspotted flesh 
May violets spring." Shakspearis. 

Brother William took me to Mr. St. Clair's, 
the family hj whom he had been reared. Thej 
welcomed me as cordially as if I had been their 
own child. The next day brother told me he 
was engaged to be married to one of the most 
beautiful ladies in Racine, and that he should 
bring her to see me. He did so, and I thought 
he was correct in thinking her very lovely. 
Her low, sweet voice fell like music on my ear, 
and from that moment I loved her, 

I could fill whole pages, reciting the Lospi- 



THE BLIND GIKL. 105 

tality and kindness of the people of Racine to 
me, during my stay among them. I remained 
four weeks. My liealtli being mucli improved, 
I again returned to my sister. The journey 
back was rather unpleasant ; the weather was 
stormy, the lake rough, and I confined to my 
berth, terribly sea-sick. About nine o'clock at 
night, I reached home. 

On the following day Dr. Norfolk came to 
see me. I told him I did not desire his ser- 
vices any longer, as I thought my sight would 
never be restored. He grew very angry, and 
left the house, saying he should send his bill. 
In the afternoon it came, and was one hundred 
dollars. I sent him word by the servant I 
would never pay it, for I had already given an 
equivalent for his services. In a few days I 
was summoned to court. I was very much 
frightened, having never been sued before. Mr. 
Barton bid me not be alarmed, he would see 
the matter properly adjusted. The day arrived 
on which the trial was to take place. I was so 
nervous and frightened I could not walk to the 
court-house. I can not describe my feelings 
while seated in the larsre court-room surrounded 



106 MAKY L. DAY, 

bj so many people. Wlieu, however, I thonglit 
of the cruel manner in which Dr. N. had treated 
me, my strength returned, and I gave in my 
testimony without faltering. 

The Dr.'s witnesses were sworn. Just as the 

last one took his seat Dr. entered. He 

walked up to me and examined my eyes. He 
was then sworn, and testified, it was the worst 
piece of mal-practice he had ever met with. 
His opinion had great weight, for he was consi- 
dered one of the best physicians in the city. 
The case after a few days' litigation was decided 
in my favor. 

My brother was not satisfied no further at- 
tempt should be made to effect the restoration 
of my sight, therefore Dr. Shipley was con- 
sulted, the be&t Homeopathic physician in the 
place. He made no promises, held out no false 
hopes, but said he would do the best he could 
for mc. At the end of the year under his treat- 
ment I found my health and sight much im- 
proved j being able to distinguish light and 
colo:^s 

My px^ter was th^ only one of our family 
who remembered out relatives in Baltimore. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 107 

Slie had written to tliem, but the letters had. re- 
mained unanswered. The Doctors all advised 
me to go to the New- York Infirmarj^, so I con- 
cluded I would write to my relatives and, in- 
forming them of my misfortunes, ask their as- 
sistance. I mentioned my intention to brother 
jind sister, but they opposed it, so I determined 
to arrange my plans without their knowledge 
if possible. Sister had a servant who could 
write ; the next Sunday I took her to my room, 
and dictated a long letter to my uncle Jacob 
Day, my father's only brother. I secreted it 
until an opportunity transpired of sending it 
to the post-office. My friend of flute recollec- 
tion mailed it for me, promising not to mention 
the circumstance to any one. 

It had been nearly three years since I had 
left Mrs. Cook's, and I was now making pre- 
parations to go and spend a few weeks with her. 
My little niece was to accompany me as far as 
her grand-parents in Marshall. Mr. Barton 
])laced us in the cars, and his father was to meet 
us. The journey would have been a pleasant 
one, but I was taken quite sick soon after 
starting. 



1 ^8 MARY L. DAY, 

When we readied Kalamazoo, I thought of 
ray friend Mr. Chamberlain, and listened eager- 
ly, hoping to hear his voice among the passen- 
gers. At twelve o'clock we arrived at Marshall. 
To my great relief we found Mr. Barton await- 
ing lis. I was by this time so ill, it was with 
difficulty I reached Mr. B.'s. After taking 
some refreshment I felt better. 

Little Cora was delighted, having never been 
away from home before. When the sun had 
gone down, taking Cora by the hand, we pro- 
ceeded to call on my friend, Almeada Cook. I 
felt scarcely able to get there, although it was 
only four squares distant. No one knew me 
except Almeada ; she recognized my voice as 
30on as I spoke, and appeared delighted that 
[ had come back again, and begged me to pro- 
aiise never to go back to Chicago. 

It was now getting dark, the evening was 
'■)eautiful, calm, and peaceful, with no sound of 
iissonance — indeed, only the birds were heard 
as they fled -homeward each to its leaf)^ bower. 
As I walked along, meditating upon the many 
changes that I had transpired in a few years, 1 
forgot Cora was unacquainted with the streets, 



TUE BLIND GIRL. 109 

and soon found she had turned a wrong comer, 
and I was unable further to direct her. She 
became dreadfully frightened, fearing we should 
never find the way home. .Meeting a gentle- 
man, we inquired of him. He kindly offered 
me his arm, which I gladly accepted, for I felt 
scarcely able to walk ; and through his graceful 
and prompt attention we safely reached Mr. 
Barton's. 

The next morning Mr. B. accompanied me to 
Mrs. Cook's. When at the gate I asked him to 
let me go in alone. I found the sitting-room 
door open and Mrs. Cook and her five daugh- 
ters engaged sewing. I walked in without 
knocking and not one of them knew me. I then 
said, Mrs. Cook ! have you forgot me ? and 
in another moment my head was pillowed upon 
her bosom, and I was nearly smothered with 
kisses from the girls. I visited the little room 
which had onoe been mine, and found every 
thing just as I had left it, indeed nothing ap- 
peared changed, except the girls had grown to 
be young ladies. Old Lucy still reigned su« 
preme in the kitchen, and talked and laughed, 
and gave wise counsel as sagely as ever. My 



110 MARY L. DAY, 

favorite seat under the old oak still remained. 
I forgot I was sick while exploring my former 
home and its treasured haunts. Mr. Cook and 
Benjamin, on coming in to dinner, welcomed me 
most cordially as the others had done before. 
Mr. C. said he was sorry I had ever left them. 

The next morning I was so ill I could not 
rise, and continued growing worse. The doctor 
having been sent for, after seeing me pronounced 
my symptoms those of typhoid fever. He told 
Mrs. C. I was dangerously ill, and he thought 
could not live. He said my constitution was so 
broken down, and the disease so firmly rooted, 
it could not possibly be removed. She begged 
him to do his utmost to bring about my re- 
covery. For mj part, I was happy in thinking 
I would die in my old loved home, and be 
buried in the quiet grave yard on the hillside. 

After a few daj^-s they wrote to sister, telling 
her if she wished again to see me in life she 
aiust come immediately. As she sat weeping 
over the letter, my friend, the strains of whose 
sweet melodies reach me even now, inquired 
the cause of her distress. She handed him the 
letter , after glancing over it he exclaimed : " Go 



THE BLIND GIRL. Ill 

to your sister this very hour; I will take you to 
the depot and do any thing else you may de- 
sire," He then went out to call a carriage ; after 
ordering it, he stopped at his office and wrote 
me a letter, just such a one as only a true-heart- 
ed friend could write. 

That afternoon they laid me upon a sofa in 
the parlor. I had not been there long when 
sister Jinnie and little Cora entered. Cora ran 
and threw her arms around me and said : " O 
Aunt Mary ! don't die, don't die." This excite- 
ment was too great for my weakened nerves, 
and I fainted. Sister had a carriage prepared 
with a bed in it, to take me to Mrs. Barton's. 
After the sun had set, they lifted me to the car- 
riage and placed me in it ; Mrs. Cook a,rrang 
ing my pillow with all a mother's tender care. 
How like a mother had she seemed to me in 
my desolate orphanage, and yet twined even 
with the memory of her tendernesses will ccme 
the sweet lines of the poetess : 

" I miss thee, my mother, when young health has fled, 
And I sink in the languor of pain ; 
Where, where is the arm that once pillowed my head, 
And the ear that once heard me complain ? 



J i2 MARY L. DAY, 

" Other hands may support me, gentle accents may fall, 
For the fond and the true are still mine : 
Fve a blessing for each ; I am grateful to all. 
But whose care can be soothing as thine?" 

My loved fiiend Mrs. C. having made me as 
comfortable as she possibly could, embraced me 
for the last time ; for shortly after, ere we met 
again her pure spirit went home, she bade adieu 
to earth that in heaven she might reap the re- 
ward promised unto the faithful. Her mission 
here had been fulfilled, and she is even now 
one of that shining throng who surround the 
Throne, and who are ever singing in rapturous 
strains : " Unto Him who has washed us and 
made us white in the blood of the Lamb, be 
honor and glory forever." 



THE BLIND GIRL. 118 



CHAPTER. XIY. 

** Sow ; and look onward, upward, 
Where the starry light appears — 
Where, in spite of the coward's doubting, 
Or your own heart's trembling fears, 
• You shall reap in joy the harvest 

You have sown to-day in tears." Proctok. 

" Wk must part awhile ; and our love will be 
The fonder after parting — it will grow 
Intenser in our absence, and again 
Bum with a tender glow when I return." 

Percital. 

The ride, though a short one, exhausted me 
very much, and it was many days before 1 
recovered from the extreme weakness and pros- 
tration consequent upon it. Contrary to my ex- 
pectations, however, as well as to my physician's 
and friends', I did again rally, indeed sufficient 
to undertake the journey back with sister. All 
were delighted to see me, for they had not 
thought to do so again. Two or three days 
after our return, sister came into my Toora, 



114 MARY L. DAY, 

bringing with her a missive from Baltimore. 
Uncle Jacob Day had received my letter, which 
he had "handed to my cousin William Henry, 
and the letter sister had brought me was from 
him. He said he had shown my letter to all 
my friends, and they deeply sympathized with 
me ; that he would have sent me money imme- 
diately, but not knowing me he was afraid of 
imposture ; but if I could borrow the amount 
necessary to defray my expenses to Baltimore, 
he would repay it with interest and I should 
never want for friends. He also said, if any 
thing could be done to restore my sight, expense 
should not be spared. 

I was so delighted on receipt of this letter, 
that I was quite an invalid for two days. In 
about a fortnight I was ready to start for Balti- 
more, my mother's native place. A day or 
two before leaving Chicago, sister gave me a 
party, inviting all my intimate friends and 
associates, many of whom I shall never meet 
again ; a number of them died that fall with 
the cholera. My chief regret in parting witli 
my sister and brothers, 'was the delicate health 
of brother Howard ; when I parted from him I 



THE BLIND GIRL. 115 

feared it was forever, but God has seen fil to 
spare him to us and restore his health. 

Monday was the day fixed for my departu re 
on Sunday we were all together, and the ti-n*; 
sped rapidly away. The next evening at nine 
o'clock I went to the cars, accompanied by my 
brothers and sister. They were very unwilling 
to have me travel such a distance alone; but so 
anxious was I to go, I would not wait for com- 
pany. As the cars were not to start for half an 
hour, sister said she would take the seat oppo- 
site me, and when she saw some person whose 
appearance pleased her, she would offer it to 
them ; for she rather prided herself upon her 
powers of discrimination, in this particular. 

She had not long remained on the look-out, 
before observing a lady and gentleman enter 
the car, slie arose and transferred the seat to 
them ; JMr. Barton inquired how far they pur- 
posed travelling. The gentleman said as far as" 
Toledo. He then asked if they would take me 
in charge while our route continued the same ? 
This thjy promised to do. After procuring me 
a through-ticket and placing me in charge of 
the conductor, when my new friends should . 



116 MARY L. DAY 

have left me, my brothers and dear sister bade 
me adieu ; most affectionately telKng me they 
should expect me to return to them again in a 
few months. 

When alone and the ears ■were moving off, I 
began to realize the extent of my undertaking 
and the loneliness of my situation. As we 
whizzed past the city limits, I felt I was leaving 
every one I knew on earth to seek the pi'otection 
and friendship of strangers. Would they be 
kind to me ? I would repeatedly question my- 
self. I tried to banish these feelings, and place 
implicit trust in Providence. 

My companions ,did not converse much, and 
of this I was glad, for I preferred communing 
with my own thoughts. We travelled on in 
this way till twelve o'clock, when I was aroused 
from my reverie by a sudden crash, which I 
learned was occasioned by a train from an op- 
posite direction having come in collision with 
us. It threw our train off the track, and entire- 
ly demolished both engines, but fortunately no 
one was injured. The conductor came in and 
told us he had sent back to Milwaukee for an 
engine, and we would not be able to start before 



THE BLIND GIUL. 117 

morning. " After the accident one of the passen- 
gers went about the car stamping his foot, and 
declaring the collision had wakened him up 
all except one foot. This created a laugh among 
the passengers. 

It was seven in the morning before we were 
on our way again. At twelve that day we 
reached Toledo. When the cars stopped, the 
gentleman and lady of whom Mr, B. had asked 
some attention to me, arose to leave. I handed 
my carpet-sack to the gentleman, when he refus- 
ed it, saying : " The conductor will come and 
see to you after awhile." Tliey then left, and 
in a few minutes every passenger had gone. 
One of the workmen put his head into the win- 
dow and said : " Young lady, you had better 
leave the car, for the train is going to start back 
in a very little while." I asked him if he would 
not come to me, I wished to speak to him. I 
then told him I would like to be conducted to 
the parlor of the hotel. Placing my sack on 
his arm, he took me by the hand, and literally 
dragged me over the seats until I began to think 
my lif^ was in danger. He meant kindly, I'm 
satisfied: he was good-hearted, only rather rough. 



118 MABY L. BAY, 

He led me in tliis way to the parlor, where were 
other of the passengers, to whom he said: " Ladies 
and gentlemen, I want you to take good care of 
this young lady, for she is in the dark sure." 
While saying this, he held a tight and firm hold 
of my arm, seeming to apprehend some inten- 
tion on my part to run away from him. 

I had just removed my bonnet and shawl, 
when the bell rang for dinner. No one offered 
to assist me, and touching a gentleman, (if such 
I may term him,) on the arm, I asked him to 
assist me to the table. He walked away without 
taking any notice of my request. I spoke to 
five or six others, all of whom treated me in a 
similar manner. I then sat down, thinking I 
would go without my dinner ; but I found this 
would be impossible, for I was very weak for 
want of refreshment, having eaten nothing since 
the night before. All had left the parlor except 
one lady. I asked her if she would lead me to 
the dining-room ; she replied very coolly and in- 
differently : " I am not going out to dinner." I 
told her 1 would pay her for her trouble if she 
would take me out She said she wanted no 
pay, and then walked with me to the dining- 



THE BLIND GIRL. 119 

hall, and left me in care of one of the waiters, 
who, by the way, paid me every attention. 'Tis 
not always the finest broadcloth covers the most 
noble or manly heart. A lady who sat next 
me at table was very kind ; after dinner she 
took me to the ladies' dressing-room, where I 
arranged my toilet, and we then went again to 
the parlor. The conductor came to me, saying 
I must excuse him having neglected me, he 
thought I was in care of the lady and gentleman 
sitting near me, and did not require his services. 
He offered to send a gentleman to wait upon 
me across the river to the cars. At three o'clock 
this gentleman came, and the instant I heard his 
voice I felt I had a friend. He kindly inquired 
if my journey had been pleasant ? I told him 
how neglected and lonely I had felt. He said 
he was not surprised at this, for a rougher or 
more uncivil set of persons he had seldom seen. 
I could not forbear repeating to him the opinion 
of my travelling companions which I had formed 
from overhearing their -conversation. I really 
thought them extremely domestic and rural in 
their predilections, as they had talked of nothing 
Dut their pigs and' potatoes all the way. 



l'^() MARK L. DAY, 

We had now reached the cars ; m)^ friend in- 
formed me he was agent on the railroad, and 
would be able to remain with me the distance 
of sixty -five miles. I was much pleased with 
this intelligence ; for though sister had been pre- 
possessed with the -appearance of the gentleman 
and ladj, under whose charge she left me at 
Chicago, I felt sure Mr. Dennison would prove 
far more agreeable and attentive. He was dur- 
ing the shorty time we travelled together all 1 
expected he would be from my first impressions. 
and I was really very sorry when, arriving at his 
destination, he bade me adieu. 

He advised me to remain in Cleveland a Jiv 
or two, as I -would be exhausted from my jaui]t 
thus far. He introduced me to a friend of Lis, 
whom he said would render me any service 1 
required ; he also gave me his card to hand to a 
Mr. Chase, when I reached Cleveland. I invited 
Mr. D. to call and see me if ever be came to 
Baltimore, which he said he should certainly 
do. I felt grateful to him for his kindness, and 
did not wish him to think I should soon forg\ t 
t. 

Upon arriving at Cleveland, which we did at 



THE BLIND GIRL. 121 

nine o'clock in the evening, I acted upon Mr. 
D.'s advice ; and desiring a carriage, the friend 
with whom he had left me called one, and we 
drove to the Chase House. The proprietor met 
me at the door with a cordial " How do you 
do ?" Indeed, so cordial was this inquiry, I almost 
iancied lie must be some old but half- forgotten 
acquaintance. Leading me into the parlor, he 
asked where I was journeying. I told him to 
Baltimore, to have my eyes examined and to 
undergo treatment, hoping to recover my sight. 
He said I need not go any farther than his 
house for that purpose. I asked him if he was 
a doctor ; he told me no ; but that his son had 
performed some wonderful cures. He then gave 
me a room, and in half an hour returned and 
waited upon me to supper. Supper over, I was 
introduced to his son, of whom he had spoken. 
I was equally well pleased with him as I had 
been with the father. 

He proposed examining my eyes in the morn* 
ing, to which I assented. Thej then kindly 
invited me to spend the remainder of the evening 
in their private parlor with their flimily. Upon 
examination the day following, the doctor pro- 
6 



122 JIAEY L. DAY, 

nounced my eyes as being curable, stating tliai 
in a few weeks^- if I would delay my trip to 
Baltimore that long, lie thought a restoration of 
my sight could be effected* but this was impos- 
sible, situated as I then was. 

The doctor inquired if I was fond of music. 
On my telling him I was passionately so, he 
seated himself at the piano and performed most 
delightfully. All the family treated me most 
kindly, and I shall ever cherish for them senti- 
ments of live [j gratitude for their many atten- 
tions to me ci \ring my brief stay with them. 



THE BLIND GIRL. J 23 



CHAPTEE XT. 

" I MAY be kind, 
Ani meet with kindness, yet be lonely still." Landok. 

" I KNOW not how it is ; 
But a foreboding presses on my heart, 
At times, until I sicken." Proctor. 

" "Why didst thou fling thyself across my path ? 
My tiger spring must crush thee in its way, 
But can not pause to pity thee." 

Somewhat rested and refresTied from my 
respite from travel, I started at three in the- 
afternoon to complete my journey. As Mr. 
Chase helped me into the carriage he said : " It 
really made his heart ache to have me go alone." 
But I assured him I could get along very well, 
for I was not easily discouraged. Dr. Chase 
accompanied me to the cars ; upon leaving me 
he also expressed concern lest I should moot 
with some unpleasantness, I assured him I 
was not apprehensive but some one would send 
me on from any other stopping-place I might 



1 /4 MARY L, DAY, 

I ive ; no one would desire to detain me very 
1 ng. He bade me good -by, saying he should 
e cpeot to see me back soon. 

At six o'clock we reached Lyons, where we 
clvanged cars. The conductor took me to the 
hotel, telling me not to leave with any one 
else, as he would return for me — we were to 
s^art in half an hour. The time expired, and 
I heard one train after another, move off — all 
the passengers had quitted the parlor except 
one gentleman. I inquired of him if the Pitts- 
burgh train had gone ; he said they had started 
fifteen minutes before, and he thought there 
would be no other until morning. Shortly after, 
he took the cars for Cleveland, and I was left en- 
tirely alone. Just as I was thinking what I 
should do next, a gentleman came in. He 
asked me if I had been forgotten ; I told him 
I was in care of the conductor, and that he had 
left me, bidding me wait till he returned for me ; 
that I had placed perfect confidence in what he 
had said, and through having done so, the 
Pittsburgh train had started without my know- 
ledge. He said the conductor had told him of the 
circumstance, and was very much troubled about 



THE BLIND GIRL. 125 

it, but that another train would arrive in about 
three hours, and he would remain with me un- 
til it came. I thanked him, but plainly signi- 
aed I preferred being alone. Upon this intima- 
tion he went out and was gone two hours ; thej 
seemed the longest I had ever known. The 
mtense heat of the atmosphere and the innu- 
merable musquetoes were almost beyond endu- 
rance. When the gentleman returned, I laugh- 
ingly, though in a decided manner, informed 
him he and the conductor were one and the 
same person, (his voice had discovered him to 
me the moment he had spoken,) also remarking 
that doubtless he was surprised I should know 
him again : " Oh ! do you forgive me ?" he ex- 
claimed. "I never had any thing so to worry 
me in my life. There were spme Germans who 
detained me so long paying their fare, the cars 
moved off, and' I only had time to jump from 
them, which I did in order to repair my appa- 
rent neglect of you." 

The remaining hour he entertained me by 
reading the daily news. At last the train 
came, and I was introduced to and placed m 
charge of Mr. Higgins — again at the mercy of 



126 MARY L. DAY, 

a busy, bustling conductor. He appeared a 
kind and fatherly old gentleman. When con- 
ductor number one was about to leave me, he 
asked if I expected ever to come that way 
again. I told him, if I should, certainly not 
in. care of any of his forgetful fraternity. 

Mr. Higgins arranged me quite a comfortable 
couch, appropriating his coat and my carpet- 
sack, then spreading a large shawl over me, 
said I could sleep all the way to Pittsburgh. 
Every time he would pass by, he would hold 
the lantern close to my face and say, " Poor 
child, poor child," thinking me asleep. 

At one o'clock we reached Pittsburgh. I re- 
rrretied parting with Mr fl. ; he kindly ofl'ered 
to place me in care of the conductor of the next 
train. The following morning I was scaicely 
able to rise ; an old lad}^ who had roomed with 
nie, observing my weakness assisted me to dress, 
and was as tender and solicitous as if she had 
betn my own mother. 

After paying my fare I found I had exhaust- 
"I my means, for I had not prepared a sum 
adequate to the expense occasioned by the vari- 
ous delays I had been subjected to. I resolved 



THE BLIND GIRL. 127 

not to allow tliis to trouble me ; I liaJ a tlirougli- 
tickct to Baltimore, and would make directly 
lor that point, hoping to reach my friends the 
next day. But in this I was doomed to sad 
disappointment ; my troubles were not yet over. 
The old lady travelled with me seventy miles, 
when, bidding me good by, she hoped the rest 
of my journey would be free from accident, or 
any untoward circumstance. 

Soon after her departure, a person took the 
vacant seat behind me, so perfumed with musk, 
his close proximity nearly took my breath. 
Being very thirsty, I turned and a'iked the fra- 
grant, highly -scented gentleman if he would be 
so obliging as to procure me a gla.?s of water ? 
To which request he made answc": "There's 
the water, can't you help yourself?" On my 
infornfting him I was blind, he said: " He was 
not in the habit of encumbering himself unne- 
cessarily when he travelled." A gentleman sit- 
ing near, overhearing the colloquy, bi ought me 
a glass of water. When I thanked him lie 
said : " He had done no more than any gentle- 
man ought to do for a lady." 

The conductor coming into the car, brought 



128 MARY L. DAY, 

the unwelcome intelligence that we would be 
compelled to remain in Harrisburgh all night, as 
there was no train leaving for Baltimore before 
morning. Oh ! I can not describe my feelings on 
receiving this information. I had no money and 
knew no one living in Harrisburgh. "What to 
do or how to act, I did not know. My head 
began to ache violently, and I felt as if my 
strength were leaving me. I would have relin- 
quished all the hopes to realize which I had 
travelled so far, endured so much, to have been 
once again by my sister's side, at home. At 
this moment the train stopped and about twen- 
ty happy school-girls entered the car in which 
I was sitting, feeling so lonely and desolate. 
Their gayety and mirth but increased my sense 
of misery. I could not decide how it would be 
best to act on reaching Harrisburgh. A single 
beam of hope bid me fancy I should meet some 
one as generous and kind as Mr. Chase had 
been, but in this I was disappointed. 

It was nine o'clock when we arrived at our 
destmation for the night. The conductor pass- 
ing, I spoke to him of my embarrasing situa- 
tion and told him, if he would procure me ac- 



THE BLIND QIRL. 129 

coinmodations at a hotel and defray the expense, 
the amount should be refunded by my friends, 
immediately after my arrival in Baltimore. He 
told me to sit still till he had got through with 
his business, and he would then attend to me. ' 
I rema'med in my seat as he had directed, till 
every passenger had left the car, and the lights 
•had all been put out ; still no conductor came. 
At that moment I felt friendless, helpless, and 
penniless. I was aroused from this painful re- 
flection by the impertinent voice of the conduc- 
tor saying : " Well, sis, what must I do for 
you?" I shuddered to think I was in the 
power of this man, for it seemed to me I could 
hear the villainy in his voice. He asked a 
great many questions, all of which I answered 
in monosyllables. I repeated my request that 
he would take me to a hotel, to which he re- 
plied: " There were some very kind ladies liv- 
ing about a mile distant, whom he knew, and 
who would be very happy to have me stay 
with them over night, or indeed a whole week 
if I liked." I told him I should prefer stop- 
ping near by, as I wished to be in good tim% 
for the morning train. He said : " There was no 
6* 



130 - MARY L. DAY, 

hotel near." This I knew to be false, for I liad 
heard the gong sound for supper, and it seemed 
to be directly opposite. He then said, after I 
had informed him of my impression, "Oh! 

yes, that is the Hotel," and that 

he would walk over with me, and ascertain if 
the landlord would accommodate me for the 
night. Upon my taking his arm, he asked: 
'•'■ What made me tremble so ?" I told him, " I 
was very tired," for I did not wish him to know 
I was afraid of him. When we had reached 
the hotel he took me in, and then sent for the 
landlord ; he told him I had a through-ticket 
to Baltimore, but owing to several delays, my 
money had all been expended. " Oh I I under- 
stand," said the landlord. " She is welcome tc 
the best my house affords." Then the conduo- 
ior took him out into the hall, and they held a 
whispered conference, continuing about five 
minutes, and I could not avoid feeling a fore- 
boding that it was concerning myself, for the 
conductor's actions appeared to me very singu- 
lar and suspicious. 

The landlord returned to me, accompanied 
by the chambermaid, saying he would wait on 



THE BLIND GIKL. 131 

mt! to my room. The girl led the way, and I 
followed with him ; he left me at the door, tell- 
ing me he would call at my room in half an 
hour, that I might go down to take some re- 
freshment. After the girl left me I locked my 
door, and commenced a thorough investigation 
of every nook and corner. I should not have 
been at all surprised in my search to have put my 
hand on tlie conductor. The evening was ex 
tremely warm, yet I lowered my only window, 
fearful lest some one might be able to make 
their way in through it. 

I had just completed my toilet when I heard 
a rap at my door. In answer to my inquiry: 
" Who was there ?" I recognized the voice of the 
landlord. On going out, I asked him to wait 
till I locked my door. As I put the huge key 
in my pocket he laughed as if he wondere(? 
what I had to lock up so securely. 

He treated me with the greatest kindness 
during supper. After having enjoyed this re* 
past I was soon again safely locked in my room. 
When I arose the next morning, I felt much 
refreshed. Ajfter I had arranged my hair and 
dressed, hearing some one in the hall, I though* 



132 MARY L. DAY, 

I ■would ask them to take me to tlie parlor. I 
attempted to unlock mj door but could not 
succeed, it would not yield to mj efforts. I 
thought I was locked in, and that at the con- 
ductor's instigation. I searched the wall of my 
room for a bell-cord ; on finding one I gave it 
such a terrible pull, it brought the girl in quite 
a hurry. I told her 1 could not open my door ; 
she pushed violently against it, and it flew open. 
I had unlocked it and it had required some 
such force only as she had rendered to " open 
sesame." So in one instance, at least, I had done 
the conductor injustice — ^he had not locked me 
nor had me locked in my room. The chamber- 
maid took me down to breakfast; just as I had 
finished, the landlord came to me, and said the 
train for Baltimore would leave in a few minutes. 
I hurried on my wrappings and went with him 
to the cars. 

After seating me he left, saying I would have 
no more changes to make, and that he had put 
me in care of the conductor. He had no sooner 
gone than I felt a presentiment of something 
wrong, and asked a lady near me if we were on 
the Baltimore train. She said, No 1 we were 



THE BLIND GIRL. 133 

on tlie Newport train. I cauglit up my carpet- 
sack and ran out on the platform without assis- 
tance. Taking hold of some man's arm stand 
ing there, I said hurriedly : "I want to go to 
Baltimore 1" He lifted me off the cars though 
they had commenced moving, and put me down 
on the platform. There I stood alone — no one 
to appeal to, to learn whither I should go. But a 
gentleman passing by, observing my helplessness, 
ojffered to place me in the train I desired ; and 
I felt greatly relieved that I had escaped that 
wicked conductor, for I always believed he was 
to have gone to Newport with the train that 
morning. His whole demeanor was to me Id • 
explicable. 



184: MAEY L. DAY, 



CHAPTER XYI. 

" In all my wanderings through this world of care, 
In all my griefs — and God has given my share, 
I still had hoped, my long vexations past, 
Here to return — and die at home at last." 

Goldsmith. 
" On ! still my fervent prayer will be, 
Heaven's choicest blessings rest on thee." 

Miss Gould. 

Tvo o'clock in the afternoon we readied Bal- 
timore. I can not describe the emotions with 
which I entered the city ; its very name, from 
ass6ciations with a loved mother's memory, was 
dear to me. It had been her girlhood's home, 
und now she lay buried far away. I had re- 
turned to the place of my birth, which I had 
j^uitted years ago, an infant in my mother's 
irms. I could not forbear a hurried survey of 
".he past, and with the teeming recollections of 
he moment there came a more vivid conscious- 
ness that — 

" There is none 
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount 
Of deep, sJ.ong, deathless '.ove, like that within 
A mother's heart I" 



THE BLIND GIRL. 185 

Yet with these memories of the past were 
blended surmises as to my future. I was in 
Baltimore a stranger, though in search of friends. 
The conductor having ordered me a carriage, 1 
directed the driver to take me to the Fountain 
Hotel. "When there, the landlord treated me 
with great kindness. After dining, I laj down 
to rest myself before sending for my cousin, 
from whom I had received the letter encourag- 
ing my coming to Baltimore. 

Eequesting an interview with the proprietor, 
my nap over, I told him whom I wished to see, 
and asked him if he could inform me as to his 
residence or place of business ; he consulted a 
directory, and ascertained the latter. I then 
sent him information of my arrival. It was 
nearly dark when a servant came to my door 
and told me a gentleman wished to see me in 
the parlor. Knowing it was my cousin, I de- 
sired the servant to direct him to my room. 
During the short interval ere he came to me, 1 
walked the floor in nervous excitement, and a 
hundred thoughts chased each other in light- 
ning succession through my mind. A rap at 
my door — I tried to open it, but my strength 



136 MARY L. DAY, 

had fled ; I felt utterly powerless. All I could 
do was feebly to say, " Come in." 

The d!oor opened, and my cousin was with 
me. He took my hand in his, and in a kind, 
friendly voice said : " Is this Miss Mary Day ?" 
Upon my assenting, he remarked : " Then I sup- 
pose we are cousins." He led me to the win- 
dow, for it was getting dark. I asked him if 
" He thought I was an impostor ;" he said, " No ! 
you look too much like my mother for me to 
think that ; she has not a" child who resembles 
her as strongly as you do." 

He then inquired concerning my journey, 
and said he had not expected me before receiv- 
ing another letter. He left me to go down and 
settle my bill at the hotel, and returned in <i 
little while to take me home with him. V 
were not long reaching his house ; after taking 
me into the parlor he said he would go and com 
municate my arrival to his family. 

While alone, I sat musing on how strange 
and vision-like it seemed that I should be in 
Baltimore, and had met for the first time my 
cousin, and how different I had foun^ him, to 
what my conjectures had been. I also wondered 



THE BLIND GIRL. 137 

what sort of person his wife would prove ; would 
she welcome me cordially as he had done ? per- 
haps she was proud, and would not sympathize 
with me in my affliction. These reflections 
made me very unhappy, and at that moment 
now gladly would I have returned the weary 
distance that lay between my absent brothers 
and sister and myself. 

In the midst of my gloomy fancyings, Cousin 
William again came to me, this time accom- 
panied by three lovely children, to whom he 
introduced me as their cousin Mary. This 
cheered me, and made me feel less desolate. He 
then informed me his wife was in the last stage 
of consumption, which was the reason she had 
not been down to meet me. 

This sad intelligence he had scarce communi- 
cated when the door opened, and I heard a soft 
step approaching. Cousin William arose and 
introduced his wife as my cousin Sarah. As 
she kissed me affectionately, I felt the burning 
fever on her cheek. I shall never forget the 
soft sweet tones of her voice, as she said : "I 
am glad you arrived safely, Cousin Mary." 
Yerj musical sounded this welcome to me, for 



L38 . MARY L. DAY, 

it seemed the eclio of a loving spirit. Oh I hov? 
bitterly I had felt I had wronged her in allow- 
ing the wayward fancies in which I had indulged 
concerning her. She indeed, it seemed to me, 
must walk the earth with a pecuhar grace, an 
angel at the home-hearth unawares. 

The evening glided most delightfully by; 
Cousin William quite surprised me with the 
long list of relatives whom he informed me were 
anxious to see me. When I retired for the 
night, Cousin Sarah kissed me " good night," at 
the same time saying " she hoped my troubles 
were all over." 

The second evening after my arrival, while 
sitting at the tea-table, Cousin William read me 
the advertisement of a physician who professed 
to have wrought great and marvelous cures. 
The paper stated he could be found at his office, 
corner of Fayette and Exeter streets. While 
talking the matter over, an aunt and another 
cousin came in — Aunt L,, my mother's eldest 
3ister She held me tenderly to her bosom and 
wept over me. As soon as she could speak she 
£aid : " Is it possible this is Sarah's child ? I 
must take her home with me this evening." 



THE BLIND GIRL. 139 

To wliicli I acceded, after obtaining Cousin Wil- 
liam's consent, also his promise to consult the 
oculist whose advertisement he had read ; for 
I naturally felt intensely anxious to benefit by 
his skill, if in my case it were likely to prove 
efficacious. 

As we passed along Asquith street, Aunt laid 
my hand upon the house in which my parents 
lived last in Baltimore. The spot seemed dear 
to me, for though years had fled, it had once 
been familiar to one who now lay in the .cold 
churchyard. The walls had once echoed her 
footsteps, and her voice had there been heard. 

Uncle L.'s family consisted of six persons, and 
I was received cordially and affectionately by 
them all. Cousin Maria, Aunt's daughter, I 
learned, was a widow ; her two children, Frank 
and Mattie, were very interesting girls ; they all 
resided with Aunt, which made it very pleasant 
for me to be with them. They seemed desirous 
to anticipate my every wish, and did every thing 
in their power to amuse or interest me. 

The next day Cousin William called to ac* 
company me to the doctor's ; Mattie went with 
us. Alter he had examined my eyes he said he 
could restore mv sight in six weeks. Cousiia 



140 MABY L. DAY, 

William ^^AlJ delighted at the probability of my 
being ab\e to oee again, and said he would give 
any amov.nS if he wrought a cure. The doctor 
bathed my Li'.ad with some kind of liquid until 
I became so weak I could not speak a word nor 
help myself. He then blew another liquid into 
my eyes, whiclt occasioned me great suffering 
for an hour or more. Cousin William all the 
while stood by, whispering soothing and encour- 
ing words in my ear. 

I was under treatment six months, daily under- 
going the most acute pain. Cousin William 
paid eight dollars a month to the doctor, besides 
defraying my boarding expenses at Aunt L.'s, 

My health had greatly improved ; indeed 
seemed perfectly restored, for which I felt most 
thankful. My friends appeared never to weary 
rendering me kind offices. Former acquaint- 
ances of my mother lavished upon me the friend- 
ship and atteni ion they had in years gone by 
bestowed upon her. 

One day Coujin Maria while walking out with 
me proposed we should try and find Aunt Patty, 
our old and faithful servant. She was living 
with her daughter in Potter street. When we 
went in, Cousin asked her if she had ever seen 



THE BLIND GIRL. 1-il 

me before, or any one wlio looked like me. She 
led me to the window, the better to decide as to 
her answer, for she was getting old and her sight 
was growing dim. She thought she had, but 
could not recall where. Cousin then told her 
who I was, and that I was blind. She caught 
me in her arms, the dear, good, kind old crea- 
ture, and wept over me like a child. As soon 
as she could speak she said : "If ever any one 
went to heaven, it was Miss Sarah, surely." She 
then showed me various presents my mother 
had made her, and which she seemed to prize 
as relics sacred and invaluable. Among them 
was a Bible which she promised should be mine 
at her death, but said she could not part with 
it before, for she had through it learned there 
was a heaven to obtain, and studjdng its pages 
had found Christ had died to save her. She 
had learned to read it for my mother's sake, and 
it had been the instrument of her soul's salvation. 
After passing two hours listening to Aunt Patty's 
praises of my mother, which were as incense to 
my loving heart, we again turned our steps to- 
wards home, having promised often to visit hor 
in her snug little domicile. 



142 MAEY L. DAY, 



OHAPTEE XVII. 

•' Oh ! not in cruelty, not in wrath, 
The Reaper came that day, 
'Twas an angel visited the green earth, 

And took the flowers away." Longfellow. 

•' Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud." 

Shakspearb. 

•' Oh ! grief hath changed me since you saw me last, 
And careful hours, with Time's deformed hand, 
Have written strange defeatures in my face." 

Seaespease. 

My cousin Sarali's health was now rapidly 
declining, and her sweet babe was fading like a 
flower by her side. She was only confined to 
her bed three weeks till the Destroyer came. I 
visited her every day. She would converse 
with me when her strength permitted, and her 
thoughts and words already seemed to possess 
a seraphic glow. Earnestly she beseeched me 
to become a Christian, to love God with all my 
heart, and seek an entrance into Christ's fold. 



THE BLIND GIEL. 143 

assuring me that only in so doing could I hope 
10 or>+ain true happiness. 

Two days previous to her death, her sweet 
bud of promise wilted and died ; she did not 
mourn, for she felt it had but gone before to 
welcome her, a cherub in that land of bliss, 
where sin nor death enters. From this time 
she failed rapidly, and it became evident not 
many suns would rise and set ere her spirit 
would soar from earth away forever, to bask 
■neath the ineffable glory of his countenance, who 
is the Lord of Hosts and worthy to be praised 
While sitting by her side the day previous to 
her death, she drew me to her, and kissing me 
affectionately said : " Mary, I have learned to 
love you dearly, but I shall soon leave you. I 
had hoped the one blessing you so desire would 
have been restored before my death, but thia 
may not be ; try and feel resigned to the dispen- 
sations of the. Most High ; and oh I promise to 
meet me in heaven." 

She died loved and lamented by all who had 
IcniDwn her. That same week her husband and 
father experienced religion, the sanctifying 
effects of their bereavement. 



144 MARY L. DAY, 

A few lines occurred to me wliich, humble 
tliougb tliej be, I offer as affection's tribute to 
one whose gentleness and true worth still captd 
a halo of beauty around her memory : 

Our loved one hath gone to her home in the skies, 
Where suffering no entrance hath found, 

Where sighs are all hushed in a gladsome surprise, 
And the pure brow with glory, is crowned. 

She clasped to her bosom the dear little one 
She so willingly gave to her God : 
•' My darling, we'll meet, when life's journey is dune, 
In yon beauteous, blissful abode." 

Look up, stricken mourner, weep not thy dead, 

Her memory lingercth yet ; 
Like the fragrance which flowers at evening shed, 

It softens the pang of regret. 

As sadly we lay her in tlie cold silent tomb, 
And the heart throbs with fullness of grief, 

We turn from the pall and the sepulchre's gloom 
To the teachings of Christ for relief. 

We see through the dimness of tears as they rise, 

The crucified Saviour of men, 
Who speaks, as he bends from his throne in the skie«, 
" Ye shall meet the departed again." 



THE BLIND GIKL. 145 

Thus it is ever. We love, and what we love, 
or bird or tree or flower or dear familiar friend, 
they vanish from our midst like the morning's 
early dew. Truly, " Man's days are as grass ; 
as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth : for 
the vdnd passeth over it and it is gone ; and the 
place thereof knoweth it no more." What a 
lesson should this teach us ! Life's brevity and 
the unknown hereafter awaiting us beyond 
Death's shadowy portals. Day after day to the 
lonely graveyard we follow our loved, then 
return to the busy bustling world again, and, 
mingling in its anxious strife for gold or plea- 
sure, forget the touchings of the voiceless lip or 
the eloquence of the form motionless in death. 

The morning of the twenty -second of Febru- 
ary dawned bright and beautiful, fitting type of 
him whose natal day was to be commemorated 
by a virtue-loving people. But not in unison 
with the day were my feelings; a presentiment 
of ill hung over me. I can not define the in- 
describable dread with which the slightest sound 
fell on my ear. After breakfast I repaired to 
my cousin B.'s, to pass the day. It was nearly 

7 



146 MARY L. DAY, 

night, and nothing had occurred in answer to 
my nervous apprehensions. Suddenly the door- 
bell was rung violently ; I nearly fainted, and 
yet I knew not why. 

The new arrival was Cousin Maria, who had 
come to walk home with me, also informing me 
ancle Jacob was there, waiting to see me. Her 
voice in communicating this to me sounded 
strangely, and the manner of the rest of the 
family after we reached home struck me as 
unusual. I felt something had happened, and I 
anxiously awaited being informed as to what it 
might be. 

Uncle Jacob spoke of the weather, and made 
an effort to introduce other topics of the day ; 
in doing so he made an apparently casual and 
incidental reference to my father ; inquiring if 
I would receive him kindly if he were to come 
to Baltimore. The truth flashed upon my mind 
in an instant. Springing to my feet and catch- 
Ing him by the arm, I exclaimed, " O uncle, has 
my father come ?" to which he replied with a 
forced li2;htness of tone and manner : " I did not 
tell you he had." 

He then told me to put on my bonnet and go 



THE BLIND GIRL. 147 

Lome witli liim, and I could ascertain for myself 
if he were there. When ready to start, he sug- 
gested I should take mj brothers' and sister's 
likenesses with me. This made positive mj 
impression that he was there. 

The walk to Uncle's seemed much longer 
than it had ever done before, so anxious was I 
to see — naj, to meet my father, and once more 
hear his voice. 

Aunt received us at the door, and as soon as 
I was in commenced removing my bonnet and 
shawl. Uncle Jacob led me to the sofa and 
said : " Mary, here is your long lost-father." 
In an instant I was clasped to his bosom. It 
was several minutes before he could command 
himself to speak. "When the first intensity of 
feeling had subsided, he said : " Is this my little 
Mary ?" He groaned aloud with very anguish, 
" Oh ! can it be that you are blind forever ; oh ! 
no, we musi get you cured I" 

Every one in the room was weeping, but T 
CO aid not shed a tear. At that moment my 
heart seemed turned to stone ; my past trials 
an 1 sufferings rose before me as vividly a'i 
though but a day or an hour had elapsed sii iu 



148 MARY L. DAY, 

I endured tbem. Mrs. Euthven's "harsh, severe 
tones were again ringing in mj ears. Again I 
was homeless and friendless. I could not realize 
it was mj father sitting bj me. He appeared a 
stranger to me. 

Althougb. fifty years of age, lie could have 
well passed for thirty-five. His kind and affec- 
tionate manner soon won my heart, and I freely 
forgave him for what had appeared to me like 
neglect, during the long years that had intervened 
since he left me in the stage on my way to the 
home he had thought would be so pleasant and 
desirable. 

When I would move about the room, he 
would earnestly watch me and refer sadly to 
my blindness. It made him very unhappy, and 
he would weep like a child. I showed him the 
likenesses, and he kissed them several times 
with much affection. 

He told me he had lived in New- York most 
of the time since parting from us, and was mar- 
ried again, and that he had three children named 
after us — which proved he had remembered us, 
though far from him. He remained in Balti- 
more two months, then returned home to his 
familv. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 149 

Spring had now opened. I was still under 
treatment for mj eyes ; they were no better, and 
it was thought best to dispense with the doctor's 
further services. Accordingly my bill "vas set- 
tled, and I was relieved the almost daily torture 
to which I had been subjected. 

At this time I received an invitation lo visit 
some relatives in Westminster. It provec a plea- 
sant trip. I made many new friends. On my 
return Cousin William proposed I should go to 
New- York and try if any thing could be do.iv'j to 
effect a restoration of my sight. Upon his 
advice, I wrote to Uncle Henry Deems, a r^tsi- 
dent there, asking him at a stated time to m«.x>) 
me. I started on tiie twenty-fifth of May. Cousin 
William could not go with me ; but he placed me 
under charge of a lady travelling that way, a 
Mrs. Moreton ; she was extremely kiiid and 
attentive. 

We entered into a pleasant conversat'on, and 
I found she had known my father and mother. 
At Philadelphia we were joined by a lady and 
lier little girl, ten years of age. She was quite 
agreeable, and while with us added much to the 
pleasure of our journey. On leaving the boal 



150 MARY L. DAY, 

we were literally carried along by the crowd, 
and it was not until we were seated in the cars 
our new friend discovered she had lost her 
purse, containing about fifty dollars. She was 
much distressed, and so was her little daughter. 
At the first stopping-place the conductor tele- 
graphed back, but nothing had been heard of 
the missing purse. A gentleman took his hat 
and going through the cars, lifted a collection 
for the lady. One man in his liberality put in 
a cent ; but the gentleman immediately threw 
it out of the window, saying: "We want no 
coppers." When he had completed his noble 
errand, he returned and emptied the hat's contents 
into the lady's lap. She was too much affected 
to thank him, but her little girl did so more 
effectively than words could have done, by 
taking his hand and kissing it most passionately. 
Mrs. Moreton inquired his name, but he would 
only say: " I am from San Francisco." 

The lady then gave Mrs. Moreton a sketch of 
her life. Her husband had died one year pre- 
vious, and had unfortunately left his property 
in care of those who had defrauded her of it. 
To regain it if possible, had been her errand to 



THE BLIXU GIRL, 151 

Baltimore ; but tlie attempt Lad been nnsncc^ss- 
fal, and she was now on lier waj home to Provi- 
dence. A thousand-fold seemed magnified the 
generous deed of the noble Franciscan, when we 
learned the lost purse and its contents had been 
toiled for by one who had encountered such 
heavy misfortunes. 

After we had taken the steamboat at Amboy, 
she went on deck to express her thanks to her 
friend in need, but he would not admit he de- 
served or desired any acknowledgment of what 
he had done ; but said he purposed making a 
second collection on the boat — this the lady 
gratefully declined, as she already had recovered 
a larger amount than she had lost. 



152 MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTER XYIII. 

" GiBD up your heart with silent fortitude ; suffering, jhji 
hoping all things." Hemans. 

" Friendship has a power 
To soothe aflaiction in her darkest hour." H. K. Whitk. 

" What can we not endure, 
When pdns are lessened by the hope of cure ?" 

Nabb's Microcosmus. 

After a few hours' ride, we landed at New- 
York. Mj uncle had been described to me 
before I left Baltimore ; I asked Mrs. Moreton 
if a gentleman came into the cabin answering to 
this description, as I repeated it to her, would 
she speak to him for me. In a few minutes I heard 
her inquire of some one, "If he were looking 
for a blind lady?" He said he was, and she 
presented me to him. He received me with 
great cordiality, expressing thanks to Mrs. More- 
ton for her attention to me. She now bade me 
good-by, extending a pressing invitation to come 
and visit her, remaining just as long as I would 



THE BLIMD GIKL. 153 

feel inclined. The lady and her little girl also 
parted from me, kindly wishing me success. 

Uncle then took me to his home ; the affec- 
tionate interest there shown words can not utter 
The tenderest anxiety in my behalf was ex- 
pressed, which I shall ever gratefully recollect. 

The morning after my arrival, I went with 
Uncle Henry to Dr. Stephenson's Infirmary. I 
had been told he could decide, as soon as he had 
seen the patient, whether their sight could be 
restored; my suspense, consequently, was al- 
most overwhelming. Having reached the place 
whither, it appeared to me, I had come to hear 
my fate pronounced, so excited was I, it seemed 
as though I should certainly faint. The doctor 
came in ; observing how overwrought were my 
feeling?, he very considerately forebore telling 
me how little probability there was I should 
ever see again. 

While seated near us, one patient after an 
other came to consult him relative to diseases 
of the eye. Some he would inform they could 
be cured, but others again, and by far the greater 
number, he would tell he could do nothing for 
them. Among these unfortunate ones there 



164: MARY L. DAY, 

was a young •woman wlio, upon learning her 
case was beyond human skill, sank back in her 
husband's arms, and I never can forget her 
groans of agony. Then the piercing screams 
of a man reached me ; he was imdergoing an 
operation in an adjoining room. My heart sank 
within me, when the doctor arose and taking 
me by the hand, said to my uncle: "I think 
we had better take her away from here, or she 
will be too unnerved to undergo an operation." 
"We retired to a spacious parlor up-stairs, where 
the doctor left us alone. During his absence, 
Uncle tried to cheer me, begging me to exercise 
as much fortitude as I could. The doctor soon 
returned, accompanied by a Mrs. Sherwood, the 
lady of the house ; she was about forty years of 
age, her once handsome face bore traces of care 
and sorrow. Her manner was winning and 
gentle, very motherly and soothing. 

Uncle engaged board for me. My room was 
adjoining the parlor, most pleasantly situated. 
He then took leave of me, promising to call the 
next day. The doctor accompanied him, and 
Mrs. S., excusing herself, followed them, which 
left me, as 1 supposed, entirely alone. While 



THE BLIND GIKL. 155 

musing over tlie events of the day, I heard a 
slight movement near me. I sjjoke but received 
no answer ; this frightened me verj much, but I 
arose to ascertain if possible what occasioned the 
sound I had heard as of some one moving, also 
a soft breathing I could distinguish. Now, gen- 
tle reader, what do jou suppose had produced 
my alarm ? Something very terrible, no doubt! 
say you. Well, it was a dear little girl about 
th]"ee years old ; Nellie, she told me, was her 
nam^, and she had long curls which mamma said 
were pretty, very prettj^, and that her eyes were 
blue like the sky. Sweet little prattler ! how 
earnest was the prayer that went up from my 
heart that they might never be veiled by a 
misty shadow, shutting out forever the bright 
blue sky, whose cerulean hue had tinged them 
with beauty. 

I twined my arms about her, and held her 
caressingly to me, when with tenderness beyond 
her years she asked : "Are jon blind ?" From 
Mrs. Sherwood, who had now returned, I learned 
Nellie's mamma was one of the boarders. 

Mrs. S. conversed with me about many 
things, giving me stray snatches of her per- 



i ^6 MARY L. DAY, 

eonal history. Her husband had died two 
years previous, and had left her with eight 
children, seven of which were sons. The tea- 
bell interrupted the continuance of our conver- 
sation. At the table I was introduced to the 
boarders, and to her two eldest sons, William. 
and George Sherwood. George was quite talk- 
ative and agreeable, and we became pretty well 
acquainted. Tea over, he waited upon me to 
parlor, and spent the evening chatting with me. 
I felt I had gained another friend, for sincerity 
and kindness marked his every word. 

The next week had been decided upon as the 
time when an operation upon mj- eyes should 
be performed. The day previous to the one of 
so great moment to me, Mrs. Sherwood came 
into the parlor accompanied by a very handsome 
lady and a little blind boy. Taking a seat near 
me, and appearing much affected, my hand held 
in hers, she said to me in earnest, sympathetic 
tones : " Are you blind ?" On my assenting, 
ehe said: "So is my dear little boy!" Little 
Willie sprang into my lap, and throwing his 
arms caressingly around me, said in plaintive 
simplicity : ""'Did you stick a knife in vour eye, 
too?" 



THE BLIND GIRL. 157 

Dr. StepTienson, entering at this time, exam- 
ined my little friend's eyes, and pronounced the 
case a doubtful one as to relief The distress 
of his mother at this intelligence was truly heart- 
rending. She had travelled from Minnesota, 
a distance of more than a thousand miles, alone, 
in order to avail herself of Dr. Stephenson's 
acknowledged skill; and to learn there in all 
probability could be but little done, wi'j indeed 
a severe trial. The doctor, however^ suggested 
she should remain awhile, and he would do all 
in his power. She said she would remain, pro« 
vided I would allow her to share my apartment, 
to which I readily assented, thinking she would 
prove an agreeable companion. 

The day following, Aunt and Uncle came 
over to be with me while my eyes were being 
operated upon. Dr. S. came in, accompanied by 
a number of other doctors. Their arrival so un- 
nerved me that they thought best not to attempt 
the operation. Dr. S. suggested I should con- 
sult Dr. Wilkes before any thing further was 
done; accordingly the next morning, accom- 
panied by Mrs. Biglow and little Wilhe, I called 
on this physician. He received us with great 



158 MAKY L. DAY, 

Civility, bnt told me it "would ruin my eyes to 
undergc^ an operation, that Nature was the best 
doctor He asked if there was an institution 
for the blind in Baltimore, and said he would 
.id vise me to return home and enter it as a pupil 
if there were one. He then examined "VVilli-'s 
eyes, but with the same hopeless result, of which 
he apprised Mrs, Biglow as kindly and deli- 
cately as he could. "We then bade him good 
morning ; Mrs. B. soon after left for Minnesota, 
for she was anxious to meet her husband and 
communicate to him how sadly fruitless had 
been her embassy. Ere v;e parted she gave me 
much good pdvice, and kneeling down offered 
up a prayer that the cup it had ftillen to our lot 
to drink, might with resignation be quaffed, and 
that strength be awarded sufficient to endure 
our severe affliction. 

At one o'clock we bade adieu to each other, 
jtromisin.gc to recollect kindly the intercourse we 
ii vl held together, and cherish that friendsliip 
which had been formed under such mournful 
^.ircamstances. 

Contrary to Dr. "W.'s advice, I determined 
again to make an effort to undergo an operation. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 159 

I did not feel that I could return to Baltimore 
satisfied without having done so. Saturday 
■was appointed, and on tliat day Uncle was with 
me to sustain me as much as possible by his 
presence. One doctor after another came quictly 
into the room, thinking to do so without my 
knowledge. I told them they could not frighten 
me to-day, so they need not be so very quiet 
and cautious. Seated upon an ottoman, they 
all surrounded me, Dr. Stephenson in front, as 
he was to perform the operation, and tried ti 
cheer me by talking gayly. He said : " I wa.^ 
right good-looking, and all I wanted was my 
sight." I told him " not to flatter me, or 1 
should lose all confidence in him." This con- 
versation occasioned great laughter. Then al] 
were very silent, for Dr. S. commenced the ex- 
ercise of his skill. It lasted about twenty min- 
utes, during which period I fainted four times. 
After he had finished he laid aside the instru- 
ment, saying: "My dear child, 1 have done all in 
my power, we must leave the rest to God." [le 
also said : " I had borne up wonderfully, and 
would make a good soldier." Uncle was much 
affected. I was placed in a dark room to re- 



160 MARY L. DAY, 

main -iintil the bandage over my eyes could be 
removed. When the time had expired, I found 
to my great joy I could see distinctly. How 
unutterable was my delight at this discovery ; 
but I was doomed to disappointment. As my 
eyes healed, vision departed again ; and the 
world, the faces of those I loved, was henceforth 
to be to me a universal blank. 

George Sherwood proved a firm and steadfast 
friend. He was indeed a noble young man, 
towards his mother tender and respectful, and 
endeavoring to sustain an almost paternal rela- 
tion towards his younger brothers. He whiled 
away many evenings reading to me, and his 
selections were always very beautiful. 

I never loved a stranger as dearly as I did 
Mrs. Sherwood, and she expressed herself sim- 
ilarly of myself, our tastes seemed so congenial. 
She was ever studying somethipg for my enjoy- 
ment. George's health failing, the doctor or- 
dered him to the country ; when he had gone I 
felt lonely, the evening reading had been such a 
delightful pastime. 

Dr. S. could do no more for me, and I con- 



THE BLIND GIRL, 161 

eluded to return home. I regretted parting 
with Mrs. Sherwood and her family, but 

" There is no unioa here of hearts, 
That hath not here an end ;" 

SO bidding them farewell and asking not to be 
forgotten, I left for home. Dr. S. said he would 
have given half he was worth to have cured 
me, but, as this had been beyond his skill, he 
could but wisn me many friends and success in 
whatever I might at any future time undertake. 
He was very kind and gentlemanly. 

Uncle placed me in a lady's care travelling to 
Baltimore, and having bid him and his dear 
family good-by, I was once again a bird of pass- 
age ; still in the dark, for though I had gone in 
search of light, it had been denied, and it now 
became my duty to submit unrepiningly to H^s 
decrees who suffereth not even a sparrow to fa] 1 
to the ground unnoticed, who is mindful cf 
what is best for the weakest of his creaturey. 



Ib2 MARY L. DAY, 



GHAPTEE XIX. 

" These eyes — 
Bereft of light, their seeing half forgot; 
Nor to the idle orbs doth sight appear 
Of sun, or moon, or star throughout the year, 
Of man or woman : Yet I argue not 
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still bear up and steer 
Right onward." Milton. 

"And thou shalt touch for thyself, the golden sceptre of 
Religion." Tupper. 

" So, that blessed train passed by me ; but the vision was 
sealed upon my soul ; 
How beautiful their feet, who follow in that train." 

TUPPEB. 

Mrs, Simons was a very pleasant lady, and 
we chatted the time away quite agreeably. We 
stopped at Philadelphia, and most of the pas- 
sengers went to the hotel to dine. A lady de- 
siring to do so, left in my charge a small ba.s- 
ket filled with gold, until she should return and 
claim it. A little while after, she came back into 
the car and took the basket from me, saying : 



THE BLIND GIRL. 163 

" I placed great confidence in your honor in leav- 
ing my treasure in your care." " Not at all," 
said I ; " You knew I could not see to run 
away with it, no ma.tter what my disposition 
might have been." These remarks amused the 
passengers ; they seemed fully to appreciate my 
inability to appropriate the lady's gold by run- 
ning away with it. 

We reached Baltimore in the evening ; home 
once more. Truly, " there's no place like home." 
After my return I spent several weeks at Un- 
cle Jacob's. Being now fully satisfied there 
was no hope that my sight would be restored, 1 
resolved to submit to my lot unmurmuringly, 
indeed with what of cheerfulness I could, be- 
lieving it would but make " the day more dark 
and dreary," wasting it in idle repinings. My 
friends were anxious I should enter the Institu- 
tion for the Blind, as had previously been ad- 
vised. Cousin William was at this time in 
Europe, and it was thought best not to delay 
matters until his return. So anxious was I to 
become a pupil tliat I made every personal effort 
to attain so desirable an end. I found anshrink- 
ing perseverance necessary to bring it about. - 



i.64: MARY L. DAY, 

Aided b j Professor Lougliery, Superintendent 
of the Institution, admission was obtained. The 
day I left Aunt's, again to make my home with 
strangers, is one thronged with various memo- 
ries — emotions of pain as well as pleasure. I 
was sad at leaving home, and hopeful as to what 
I might accomplish in self-improvement during 
my stay in the Institution. 

Cousin Mattie accompanied me. On entering 
wc were met by Mt. Loughery, one of the most 
perfect gentlemen I have ever known. He also 
was blind, therefore could deeply sympathize 
with those to whom had fallen a similar afflic- 
tion. The welcome he gave was very cordial, 
hoping I would be happy and contented while 
in the Institution. He then excused himself 
and left the room. A few moments and a young 
lady came to me, introducing herself as Miss 
Moran, the assistant teacher. I was much 
pleased with her manner, so graceful and lady- 
like. Cousin Mattie bade me good-by, promis- 
ing to visit me the next week. Miss M. con- 
ducted me to the sitting-room. 

School being now dismissed, the young ladies, 
pupils in the Institution, entered. At this time, 



THE BLIND GIRL. 165 

tLere were only three female and five male 
pupils. Upon being introduced they greeted 
me as though I had been an old acquaintance. 
This is the usual manner of the blind ; they 
are never strangers to each other, a common 
sj^mpathy seems to link them wherever they 
meet. They are shut out from the external 
world around them, and feel that a mysterious 
tie makes them kindred to any who have been 
denied, like them, the power to see as well as 
feel that God is very great, as all his handi- 
works proclaim. 

Miss Moran gave a lesson in the art of sew- 
ing, in which instruction I participated. Mary 
Vernon was the most advanced pupil ; she could 
dimly discern the outline of figure, also could 
distinguish light from dark. How great bless- 
ing to be able to do even this. She was a very 
lovely girl in disposition and manner. The 
sewing hour passed. Miss M. led me through 
the house and grounds, and though October 
with its presaging voices echoed amid the tree^, 
the garden was still beautiful, neither the fruit 
nor flowers had as yet all departed. We nest 
went to the music-roora, where we found Prof. 



166 MARY L. DAY, 

LoTiz-lier J performing on tlie piano; "he enter- 
taine I us for some time. We were joined by 
Anni. Buckler and Mary Poteet, M^ho came to con- 
duct rae to be introduced to Miss Alcorn, the ma- 
tron. She received me very pleasantly, saying : 
" She was happy to have another added to their 
little band." 

The bell rang for tea. The arrangements 
and rcjidations of the Institution seemed very 
strange to me at first, I had been so indulged 
at Aung's; however, I soon accommodated my- 
self to ihem. 

The next morning I went into scliool. I do 
not thick I shall ever forget my first attempt to 
read. I thought it impossible I ever should 
learn, bat my motto was, " Where there's a 
will, there's a way ;" and I determined if ap- 
plication would enable me to surmount the diffi- 
culty it should be overcome. So with my vari- 
ous other studies, knowing " what had been 
done could be done again,' I resolved to make 
every possible effort, hoping in the end to ac- 
quire knowledge which I might devote to prac- 
'ical purposes, as well as enjoy, as the rich re- 



THE BLIND GIRL, 167 

ward for wliat of toil and labor, tlie effort miglit 
have cost me. 

As I liave before said, Cousin Sarah urged 
me to promise to meet her in heaven. Latterly 
this subject had occupied seriously my thoughts. 
I was in the habit of attending the Lutheran 
Church, in Monument street. During my visit 
to New- York, a new pastor had been appointed, 
which I regretted, thinking it impossible any 
other could acceptably fill Mr. Lilly, the former 
pastors place. But I decided, at least to hear 
the stranger, and then form my opinion as to 
his merits. Accordingly, I went to church 
Sabbath morning and heard Dr. McCron deliver 
as powerful a sermon as I had ever listened to. 
It had great effect upon me. I returned home 
deeply convinced of my sinfulness of heart. 
Feeling somewhat prostrated from my excited 
state of mind, I lay upon the sofa and fell 
asleep, when I dreamed I had died, and in an 
instant was at the gate of heaven. I was no 
longer blind. At a silver desk covered with- 
writing materials, there sat a strange-looking 
man. He turned and looked at me in a manner 



1C8 MARY L. DAY, 

SO searching, it made me shudder — then asked 
in a tone of voice that sounded like thunder in 
my ear : " Do you wish to enter the gate ?" 
On my telling him "1 did," he said: "Have 
you a ticket from God?" This query made me 
wretched. During this conversation the gate 
had repeatedly opened to admit those who on 
earth had secured a ticket entitling them to an 
entrance. 

The light streamed forth in such crystal oril- 
iiance, I was forced to cover my eyes to shield 
them; and the loud hosannas of those who 
heard the welcome words, "Come in: of such 
is the kingdom of heaven," almost deafened me. 
My agony was intense — Heaven's gate closed 
against me — no entrance there for me ; like the 
foolish virgins my lamp had not been found 
trimmed and burning. From tliis painful ima- 
gining I was aroused by a well-known voice, 
happy indeed, to learn 'twas but a dream, " if 
dreams they be which have so strong a power 
o'er heart and brain." I resolved to heed the 
warning given, and secure ere too late, those 
graces and Christian virtues, which, united to 
a pure heart., and firm faith in Him who died to 



THE BLIND OIRL. 169 

redeem a lost and ruined world, would entitle 
me to a home with those who alon-e see God. 

I sought an acquaintance with Dr. McCron, 
and under his prayers and teachings became a 
member of the visible Church the May follow- 
ing. The day of my confirmation seemed the 
happiest I had ever known. As I knelt at the 
aliar I felt as though a heavy burthen had been 
lifted fi-om me, that had hitherto been weighing 
me down to the very earth. I can not express 
the happiness I experienced ; I felt at jieace with 
all the world. The voices of my friends sound- 
ed like sweetest music in my ears ; I thought I 
never could sorrow again. Since that to me 
eventful period, Dr. McCron has been as a father, 
ministering pious counsel and holj' teachings. 
I can at all times freely unburthen my heart to 
him, and am ever sure not to be turned empty 
away. Tender sympathy and hopeful words 
seem ever to spring up in response, to even the 
faintest whisper of sorrow or regret. May his 
labors be abundantly acknowledged of the Lord, 
and the seed he has som'u broad-cast in the 
land, produce a harvest which shall redound in 
glory to the Most High God. 



}70 MAEY L. DAY, 



CHAPTEE XX, 

" Roses bloom, and then they wither* 
Cheeks are bright, then fade and die; 
Shapes of light are wafted hither, 

Then like visions hurry by." Peecitas» 

•* Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends. 
Unless some dull and favorable hand 
Win whisper musi© to my weary spirit." 

Shakspeare. 

"The over-currous are not over wise." Massingee. 

" You cram these words into mine ear, against 
The stomach of my sense." Shakspeare. 

I HAD now been in the Institution six montlis, 
and had made greater progress in mj studies 
than I had at first anticipated. The Board of 
Managers were estremelj kind and attentive to 
ns. Two of them were particular favorites with 
lis — Messrs. J. Trust and B. E. Newcomer. 
"Whenever they visited the Institution they 
would come to our sitting-room^ and laugh and 
joke, greatly to our amusement and entertain- 
ment. Mr. T. frequently sent out for ices for us, 
which we deemed a great treat coming from him. 

The pupils all loved and respected Mr. Lough- 
ery, and although he was blind, there was not 



THE BLIND GIRL. 171 

one who would take the least advantage of him. 
Their love almost amounted to worship ; indeed, 
he was idolized bj many, and one and all took 
pleasure in refraining from aught that he might 
disapprove. I never have known more perfect 
government than he maintained. Very intel- 
ligent and of affable manners, he won not only 
the hearts of all his pupils, but also of every 
one with whom he met. No sacrifice seemed too 
great for him to make, if it in any way contri- 
buted to our gratification or enjoyment. 

To our great sorrow,' during the spring he was 
taken ill, and confined to his bed three months. 
This was a season of painful suspense to us, for 
it was not thought he would recover. The 
dawn of each day brought the fearful anxiety 
lest it should be his last. As time sped, how- 
ever, he partially recovered, and we were most 
thankful to have him once more restored to us. 

During his illness every instrument of music 
was hushed and silent, for no one felt any in- 
clination to indulge in this recreation and he so 
ill. While upon his sick-bed he composed the 
fMllowinor beautiful and touching lines, which 
were set to music by Professor Magruder, who 
also is blind. 



172 MARY L. DAY, 



MY MOTHER'S PARTING TEAR.* 

" When far away from home and friends, 

A slave to fortune's will, 
My heart oft turns to other days, 

And her who loves me still. 
I see the last fond look nhe gave, 

Of mingled hope and fear, 
And still I see as though 'twere now, 

My mother's parting tear. 

" "When tossed upon a weary bed, 

Of sickness and of pain, 
Xo friend to cool my fevered brow, 

I see her face again. 
When friendship seems to be a name. 

And all the world is drear, 
I know there's one who loves me still, 

I see her parting tear. 

" Sweet visions of my early home, 

Steal nightly through my sleep. 
And fancy soars on dreamy wings. 

High o'er each mountain steep. 
Soon may I see my good old home. 

And childhood's friends so dear ; 
I long to glad my mother's heart, 

Ajid wipe away her tear." 

♦ fublished by George Willig, Charles street, Baltimore, 
and by his kind permission here inserted. 



THE BLIND GIRL, 173 

Miss Alcorn left at this time, and her place 
as matron was supplied by Mrs. Sawyer, Pro- 
fessor Lougliery had been our teacher in music, 
but he was now relieved of this duty by Prof. 
Magruder, whom we soon learned to cherish aa 
a dear friend, each day revealing some new trait 
to be admired. Being himself blind, he could 
bear patiently with us, also could from this fact 
the better appreciate the obstacles under which 
we labored in acquiring facility in this most de- 
lightful accomplishment. 

Vacation had now arrived. I could not have 
realized how attached I should become to those 
with whom I had been thrown so short a time. 
It seemed like one harmonious loving family, 
and I felt loth to leave them for even a brief 
space. The autumn following, our public con- 
certs held in the hall of the Institution, began. 
It was at first a great trial to me to perform in 
public, but gradually I became accustomed 
to it. 

Esraarks made by strangers would sometimes 
greatly amuse us. On the regular visiting-day 
there was generally a fund of after-merriment 
laid by at the expense of a few anxious inquir* 



IT'i MARY L. DAY, 

ers after information as to what they supposed 
were tlie pecnlia)'ities of the blind. TLey ap- 
peared to regard us as a race distinct from them- 
selves Some would ask : " If we closed our eyes 
when we slept as did seeing persons ?" Others 
would inquire : " Do you not have great difiiculty 
in finding the way to your mouth, when you 
eat ?" Some would even go so far as to express 
a desire to see for themselves liov) we ate. There 
were those who seemed to consider us f ightful 
objects, of whom they were afraid ; and again, 1 
have known persons to put their mouths to our 
ears and scream ns though they thought we were 
ieaf as w. 11 ns blind. They would also stand 
rlose beside us and pass remarks upon us, as 
though they thought we were as unthinking and 
unfeeling as might be a breathing statue. I 
have known them to say aloud and immediately 
by our side, " We were the ugliest people they 
had ever seen," or " that we were pretty and 
interesting." These and similar comments were 
constantly being made in our presence as though 
they thought because we were blind we had also 
been deprived of reason, and were but moving 
automata, walking stocks of wood or stone I 



THE BLIND GlilL. 175 

There is very generally, I think, a false im- 
pression as to tlie life of the blind. Many sup- 
pose they spend much of their time mourning 
over their one great affliction ; this is quite a 
mistaken idea. They are as cheerfnl as seeing 
persons ; and indeed, take an equal number of 
either, and it would, I am sure, be found the 
majority of those contented with their lot, and 
disposed to take the events of life resignedly, 
would be those who saw not external things, 
save as their fancy might depict, and who would 
give to all the sunny or the shady hue with 
which their spirit might imbue scenes and per- 
sons with whom they are thrown. 

There are many who are of opinion it is im- 
possible for the blind to be educated ; this, how- 
ever, is erroneous. Daring my connection with 
the Institution, I think I have acquired quite 
as much practical information as I could pos- 
sibly have done had I had my sight. The 
educated blind in their own home are as useful 
and industrious as are those who have not been 
deprived of their sight. They are handy and 
ingenious. Generally speaking, they are cheer- 
ful and happy in disposition, social in their feel- 



176 MARY L. I>Ar, 

ings, cherishing the most delicate sympathy for 
each other. Their conversation is less of earthly 
realizations than of heavenly anticipations. 
They talk with delight of that land where night 
Cometh not, and where no sorrow entereth. 

Persons are but faintly appreciative of the 
aensitiveness of the blind to acts of kindness. 
Though trifling in themselves, little acts or httle 
words breathing tenderness will endear a stran- 
ger to them at once. Nor axe they aware how 
keenly alive these unfortunate ones are to harsh- 
ness or neglect, A tone will affect them more 
deeply than a volume of severe expressions 
would those whose pathway has been unsha- 
dowed. 

Though the enjoyment of earth's manifold 
oeaiities has been denied them, though veiled 
from them is the delicate blush of eajly morn, 
or the fading sunset glow, yet there are chords 
in their souls that vibrate as do the strings of tbe 
-^olian to the gentlest zephyr, making sweet 
though plaintive melody. 

Because God has seen fit in his infinite wis-, 
dom to hide from us the face of friends, he has 
none the less implanted within us kindred sym- 



THE BLIND GIRL. 177 

pathies, a yearning to love and be loved again. 
Sweet Friendship, with her fond endearments, is 
as necessary to the happiness of the blind as to 
those who can recall glances of fond affection 
expressed by j 

" Tones and looks that dart 
An instant sunshine through the hearty 
As if the soul that minute caught 
Some treasure it through life had soo^t.* 

8* 



178 MARY L. DAY, 

CHAPTEE XXI 

*• The banquet waits our presence." Beows. 

" Then all was jollity, 
Till life fled from us like a pleasant dream."* Rowk. 

" Around her shone 
The light of love, the purity of grace." Btros, 

" Her gentle spirit 
Commits itself to yours to be directed 
As from her lord, her governor, her king." 

Shakspeare. 

The Maryland Institution for tiie Blind, 
opened in December, 1854, with two pupils, Miss 
Mary Yernon and Samuel B. Stewart. It was 
established through the energy and perseverance 
of Pj'ofessor Loughery, who had been educated 
in the Philadelphia Institution for the Blind ; 
also was a graduate of the University of Penn- 
sylvania. It had been his intention while pur- 
suing his studies, at some future day to establish 
in Maryland an Institution for the Blind, similar 



THE BLIND GIRL. 179 

to tlie one in Pliiladelpliia ; to Mr. Magruder, 
a fello-w-pupil, he frequently expressed himself 
as being resolved to make every effort to accora 
plish so desirable an end. He on one occasioa 
remarked to Mr. M. : " Jim, when I have found- 
ed such an Institution, you shall be my music- 
teacher." How fully was this plan fulfilled ! A 
few years elapsed, an Institution was established, 
Mr. Loughery appointed its Superintendent, and 
Mr. Magruder Professor of Music. 

Mr. McHenry, the President of the Board of 
Managers, has always shown effective interest 
ill the welfare of the undertaking. He had an 
addition to the house built, thereby rendering 
it more commodious ; also contributed a furnace 
heating every room ; independent of these ac 
cessories to our comfort, he with several othei 
gentlemen of the Board have made liberal dona- 
tions. Mr. Trust presented a beautiful organ, 
which afforded the pupils much pleasure, as they 
were anxious to learn to perform upon this 
instrument. Dr. Fisher provided a piano, 
besides liberal donations. This gentleman also 
evinces great interest in our improvement. 

During January, Prof. Loughery 's health 



iSO MAEY L. DAY, 

very perceptibly failed, so mucL. so it was 
thought advisable to appoint some one to assist 
him in his labors. Dr. McKennej came as 
Superintendent. In the spring,' Mrs. Sawyer 
left us, and her post was supplied by Miss E. 
Bond. There is one other inmate of the In- 
stitution to whom I would make a passing allu- 
sion. I refer to " Biddy," our faithful waiting- 
maid ; she was the first attendant employed, and 
proved herself at all times a noble-hearted wo- 
man. No matter how busily engaged, upon 
hearing any one of us express a wish, she would 
lay every thing aside and render the desired 
assistance. 

My friends were desirous I should make one 
other effort in attempting to find a cure for my 
eyes, and proposed I should try the effect of 
electricity ; accordingly I was placed under Dr. 
Massey for treatment, hoping possibly he might 
io something for me. Every morning. Cousin 
aeorgie H. was in the habit of calling to ac- 
company me to the doctor's; these morning 
walks were of great benefit to my health, and 
the application of electricity strengthened my 
nerves, but my vision was not improved. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 181 

Enjoying Cousin Georgie's society, how many 
happy hours have I spent in her father's, Uncle 
B.'s family. She indeed, in my estimation, is 
almost a perfect being, amiable and good, and 
endowed with a sweet melodious voice. She 
sang most beautifully, and while sitting listening 
to her, I would forget I had sorrows, and would 
think earth a very paradise. Uncle and aunt 
always welcomed me with a parent's embrace. 
Oh ! how thankful I should be in having so 
many and such kind friends ; and deeply grate- 
ful I feel when, in retrospecting the past, those 
days are recalled when I was a lonely, mother- 
less, friendless wanderer. God has indeed raised 
up many to care for and feel an interest in me, 
and I often outpour my heart in thankfulness 
to him, for his loving-kindness and tender mercy 
towards me. I deeply sympathize with those 
who have fallen under a like misfortune with 
myself, and who have found but few to sym- 
pathize with them, and cheer with sunny word 
or kindly act their darkened way. Miss Scho- 
field, a Quaker lady whom I met at the Institu- 
tion, and who was in the habit of attending our 
weekly public concerts, expressed a desire to 



182 MARY L. DAY, 

contribute in some way to my happiness and 
comfort. I informed her how fortunate I was 
in having many friends, but named to her some 
of my schoolmates who had very few, and hoped 
she would remember them kindly. She pro- 
mised to do all that lay in her power for them, 
and she has religiously kept that promise, hav- 
ing been a staunch and unfailing friend to the 
Institution and its beneficiaries ever since that 
time. 

Vacation during the very warm summer wea- 
ther was now approaching, and we were to be 
examined in our various studies before the 
Board of Managers ; the anticipation of which 
caused us great nervous excitement and anxiety, 
it being the firstexamination into the proficiency 
of the pupils. The day at last arrived, and for 
our beloved teacher's sake, we resolved to exert 
ourselves' to our utmost ability. The second 
day of examination, Mr. Trust invited us out to 
the 1 ack-porcli, where was a table set with re- 
freshments. We were much delighted with this 
attention, and someremaiked: " This is just like 
Mr. Trust." After having enjoyed the repast, 
we one and all heartily thanked him, to which 



THE BLIND GIRL. Ib3 

he responded: "All tlie thanks lie desired was 
to see us enjoy it." 

The May previous, a Fair had been held at 
the Institution in behalf of the pupils. It was 
superintended by Mr. Yearly, in which noble 
effort he was assisted by several young ladies. 
Mr. y. is very kind, generous man, and exerted 
himself greatly, in having the Fair yield as 
much as possible. Strangers who attended were 
very kind to us, and tendered us ma ay delicate 
attentions. 

Vacation arrived, we were compelled to part, 
though only for a brief season, with our beloved 
teachers. This really seemed as severe a trial 
as though the separation were to be one of im- 
numbered years instead of a few swiftly fleeting 
weeks. 

I spent the two months' release from duty 
very pleasantly among my relatives and friends, 
and in the autumn returned to my studies with 
renewed ardor and increased desire to improve 
the numerous advantages with which I wa,3 
blessed. Professor Loughery's health had nmob 
improved, and there was but one circuiostauce 
which cast a shadow over our reunion, and thai 



184 MARY L. DAT, 

was tlie intelligence our dear teacber, Miss 
Moran, was about to leave us ; tMs information 
giieved us very mucli ; she had been so gentle, 
so good and kind, we thought no one else could 
fill her place. But she was to be married, and 
we were forced to yield the happiness of her 
sweet presence to another who could prefer a 
stronger claim. The evening previous to her 
departure Cousin William gave us a large party, 
to which were invited the pupils and officers 
of the Institution, besides other of my most in- 
timate friends, among whom was Dr. McCron, 
who most agreeably entertained all present with 
his lively and engaging conversational powers. 
We went at an early hour, and shortly after 
having assembled, we all repaired to the supper- 
room, where we found oysters dressed in every 
variety of manner awaiting our enjoyment. 
Previous to taking our seats, Dr. McCron made 
a short but appropriate prayer, after which we 
did ample justice to the good things spread out 
before us. 

Having adjourned to the parlor, we played on 
the piano, sang and conversed in the most lively 
manner, Professors Loughery and Magruder 



THE BLIND GIRL. 185 

taking an active and prominent part. Every 
countenance save one was beaming with plea- 
sure ; our dear teacher seemed sad, it was the 
last evening she was to be with us, and we were 
all deeply attached to her. The next day she 
was to leave those who for three years had been 
constantly with her. 

A second time we repaired to the supper- 
room, where was a table set in the most elegant 
manner, covered with an abundance of confec- 
tionery and ices — ^indeed, every thing that could 
be mentioned. After spending another hour very 
pleasantly together, we returned home, ever} 
one expressing themselves as having passef 
a most charming and agreeable evening. No 
unimportant personage at this most delightfuA 
entertainment was Cousin Samuel H., who is j» 
great favorite with all at the Institution ; so at- 
tentive and agreeable was he, that scarce a wish 
could be conceived, much less expressed, before* 
he was close at hand to gratify it. His many kind- 
nesses to me I can not enumerate, and can only 
desire that friends he may make may prove as 
genial and as faithful as he has ever been. 



Ij6 MASY L. DAY, 

C'jusin William had not married again ; Cou- 
sin Mary, a most estimable lady, taking charge 
of his household and family arrangements. I 
have ever found in her a true friend ; gentle in 
manner, sensitive as the delicate aspen leaf, her 
whole life has proved her 

" A perfect woman nobly planned, 
To warn, to comfort, and command; 
And yet a spirit still and bright, 
"With something of an angel light." 

That the happiness she has conferred, return 
upon her own heart fourfold, is my earnest 
prayer. 

The day Mis 5 Moran left us, was one of 
mournful interest ; we were all so much affected 
we could scarce attend to our morning recita- 
tions. In the afternoon she bade us adieu, pro- 
mising often to visit us. 

The following Monday, a lady to supply her 
place was expected; we all wondered what sort 
of person she would be. Some thought she 
could not possibly be as desirable as had been 
our former friend ; others said they knew she 
would have a harsh voice, and be very disagree- 
able, and that she would be some old person 



THE BLIND GIRL. ' 187 

wLo would not allow any merriment or pleasure. 
At last Monday came ; and with it arrived the 
new teacher. Contrary to all surmises, she was 
a sweet youthful girl — a musical voice and 
merry laugh, were not by any means by us 
deemed her least desirable attractions. She 
soon won the affections of the pupils, and 
proved herself fully competent to her office, 
though very young. Our necessities and little 
pleasures seemed her constant and unceasing 
study. AYe shall ever remember her as an 
angel that flitted athwart our way, bringing 
sunlight to chase the shadow. Wherever in 
after-life her path may tend, she will bear with 
her warm aspirations for her welfare from the 
hearts of those whose way, though dark, she 
has oft illumed by cheering word and radiant 
smile, 



188 MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTEE XXII. ' 

"And every where, 
Low voices with the ministering hand 
Hung round the sick." Tennyson. 

" Death ! Beyond ! 
Thou art sweet, thou art strange !" 

E. Barrett Browning. 

•' When sorrows come, they come not single spies." 

" One woe doth tread upon another's heel, 
So fast they follow." Shakspeare. 

About a year previous to our cliange in 
teachers, a young lady from tlie Philadelphia 
Institution for the Blind, paid us a visit, remain- 
ing with us, however, only a week, during which 
time she instructed us in bead- work. Of this 
we had availed ourselves with much earnestness, 
and had learned to make a number of little fancy 
articles. The happy Chri^mas time approach- 
ing, we determined to apply the proceeds of our 
labor in this way towards making Mr. Loughery, 
our beloved teacher and friend, some gift as a 



THE BLIND GIRL. 189 

token of tlie deep affection we entertairmd. for 
him. The amount realized from the sale of our 
bead- work had been, from time to time during 
the year, carefullj hoarded. A meeting was 
called, and the pupils expressed their wishes as 
to its appropriation, and a gold chain and key 
were decided upon. All our little plans had 
been executed without his knowledge, and an 
evening appointed to consummate the surprise. 
It at last arrived. Prayers over. Dr. McKenney 
rose and said to Prof. Loughery : " He would 
be a principal actor in a little scene about to 
take place." Prof. L. arose, and Miss McGinley 
presented in a graceful manner our offering, ac- 
companied by a neat and touching address. 
Por several minutes he was too much affected 
to speak. His emotions subsiding, he replied : 
" I fully appreciate this, as it was purchased by 
your first earnings. I prize it the more deej)ly 
coming from those for whom and in whom I 
feel such a deep interest, and shall preserve it 

as long as I " His feelings quite overcame 

him, he could say no more, therefore hurriedly 
left the room. Every one present was affected 
to tears. 



190 MARY L. DAY, 

In wearing tlie chain and key, persons ob- 
serving it would remark how pretty it was — he 
would reiterate to them how dearly he prized 
and with what pleasure he wore it. A memento 
of the love of those knit to him by no ordinary 
fi'iendship. 

The Legislature were now in session, and the 
last of January we were going to Annapolis, 
accompanied by the officers of the Institution, 
and the Board of Directors. Our object was to 
give a concert and exhibition, thereby endea- 
voring to excite an interest in our behalf, and 
secure an appropriation for the purpose of im- 
proving and enlarging the Institution. Our 
errand was deserving encouragement, as certain 
changes, which money alone could accomplish, 
were greatly needed. During our stay in Anna- 
polis we were the guests of Mr. Tidings, who 
was extremely kind and attentive. The exhi- 
bition was the first we had attempted beyond 
the walls of the Institution, yet we gave, as far 
as we could learn, general satisfaction. We to 
turned to Baltimore delighted with our trip. 

Tlie following moutli Pi'of. L was agnin in 
Aiinapolis, pursuant of the effort we had made, 



THE BLIND GIRL. iW 

and endeavoring to bring as much influence to 
bear in our behalf as he could. The Legisla- 
tors expressed themselves as having been as- 
tonished at our proficiency and delighted with 
our musical performances, yet closed their ses- 
sion without granting our petition. So great 
\Yas Prof L.'s disappointment, he returned home 
ill. Dr. Haynel was called in, and pronounced 
his disease congestion of the brain. We had 
greatly missed our cherished friend during his 
brief absence from us, and to have him return 
so ill was indeed a severe distress. "While feel- 
ing intensely anxious as to his recovery, I was 
summoned to attend the funeral of my belovtd 
Uncle B. He had been complaining about a 
year, but we little thought his death so near. 
The last time I was with him in life, I told him 
before I met him again, I hoped he would be 
better. He silently embraced me for a few mo- 
ments, then said: "Yes, my dear child, I shall 
be better when we meet again." Ere again I 
sought his side he was a cold, inanimate corjise ; 
his sufferings ended, earth had forever passed 
avvaj^, and heaven had become his everlasting 
home. As I knelt by the sofa, whereon lay 



192 MARY L. DAY, 

his loved form so cold and still, and pressed my 
hand on liis chilled brow, I thought of all his 
benefits and tendernesses to me. I felt I had 
lost one of my best friends, I followed in imagi- 
nation, his ransomed spirit, to realms of bliss 
where angelic choristers hymn ever songs oi 
praise, and longed to loose this mortal coil, and 
like him be forever free. How prayed I that 
BO would my Heavenly Father guide and pro- 
tect me, I might once again meet those who 
had gone before, who had tracked the upper 
stars and passed into Eternal Glory. 

We laid him in the silent tomb and left there 
the form so dear ; but he felt not its gloom, heard 
not the wailing voices of those who mourned, 
for his spirit was afar off Vv^ith "just men made 
perfect." And as we call to mind his many 
\^irtues : 

" His memory, like some holy light, 

Kept alive in our hearts will improve them ; 
For worth shall look fairer and truth more bright, 
When we thmk how he hved but to love them." 

Daring the summer previous, Prof. L. had 
had several hemorrhages, and was now rapidly 
wasting away from that fatal disease, consunip- 



THE BLIND GIKL, 193 

tion. Dr. Haynel did all human skill could do 
to bring about his recovery, but in vain. Dr. 
Johnson was consulted, the physician of the In- 
stitution, but unavailingly. Three others were 
also consulted, but with the same hopeless re- 
sult. JSTothing more could be done for him than 
already had been done. 

On learning this, our grief was indescribable, 
for we loved him as dearly as though he were a 
brother. His physicians advised he should go 
to the country, as change of air might benefit 
him some little. His brother came to take him 
home to that mother whose parting tear he so 
plaintively expressed — and for whom there was 
now in store bitter sorrow and many tears. 

His j^arents were residents of Pennsylvaina. 
A few days after his brother's arrival he was 
prepared to go. Never shall I forget the morn- 
ing of his departure. AH the inmates of the 
Institution assembled in his room to bid hira a 
long, a last farewell. One by one in silence 
bade him good-by forever ; oh ! the agony of 
emotions that swelled our hearts. We could 
not speak, words would not come, they were 
powerless m this hour of separation. Tears 



194 MARY L. DAY, 

a'bnnclant copious tears, took tlieir place, and 
eloquently told the wealth of affection garnered 
in our hearts for him who was now leaving us. 
He too sobbed like a child, for severe as was 
the trial to us, equally seemed it so to him. He 
had been counsellor, brother, friend, and we 
had drank rich draughts of knowledge from 
lips that ere long would be hushed in death. 

He was lifted from His couch and borne to 
the carriage, and as it rolled away our grief 
knew no bounds. It seemed as though we had 
parted from our last, best friend. Just at this 
time Mr. Newcomer entered and cheeringly 
said to us : " Come, girls, you have dwelt long 
enough upon the dark side, the other is all 
bright and beautiful. Should Mr. L. never re- 
turn to you, you can go to him. If called to pass 
Jordan's narrow stream, your loss, though great, 
will be his infinite and everlasting gain." "I 
know it is hard for you to part from him, but 
God, who is too wise to err and too good to be 
unkind, hath so ordained; therefore you must 
try and be resigned ; to his will. In your grief 
you have the consolation that you have ever 
obeyed his counsels, that his instructions have 



THE IJLT.Xb GIllL. 195 

ever fallen on willing and ready hearts to fol- 
low the way he should guide. Then do not 
murmur or repine at a dispensation rendered by 
our Heavenly Father. He saw fit to rob him 
of his manly strength and beauty^ and we can 
but submit." 

Mr. IST. had always been much beloved by 
our little band, and these words of consolation 
found us willing listeners; they calmed our 
troubled spirits, and made him dearer to us than 
he had ever been before. 

The friends who were kind and attentive to 
our beloved teacher during his illness, will ever 
be remembered by us with deep emotions of 
thankfulness. Miss Bond never wearied wait- 
ing upon him. Many a delicate attention from 
her reached his couch of suffering soothingly ; 
she is indeed a noble-hearted woman. I too, 
can recall her tender solicitude by a sick-bed, 
for she has oft made less weary unto me, the 
hours of languishing and pain. 



196 MARY L. DAY, 



CHAPTEE XXIII. 

*' Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame 
Forsake its languid melancholy frame ! 
Soon may these eyes their trembling Instre close, 
Welcome the dreamless night of long repose." 

Campbell. 
"And they who before were strangers 
Became straightway as friends to each other." 

Longfellow. 

" There is a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them as we will." Shakspeare. 

" So fare thee well ! and may the indulgent gods 
grant thee every wish 
Thy soul can form I Once more, farewell !" 

After Mr. Loughery's departure we -were 
very lonely, and it was thought best to dispel 
this gloom by passing our evenings out from 
the Institution among our friends. With Miss 
Bond I was kindly invited to Mr. Thomas Arm- 
strong's. He had lately married a very agree- 
able and interesting lady, formerly resident of 
Harford, A few days previous to this visit, I 
had been so fortunate as to become acquainted 



THE BLIXD GIRL. 197 

with Mrs. Lee, Mrs, Armstrong's motlier "We 
were mutually pleased ; slie evinced deep in- 
terest in my welfare, also in that of the Institu- 
tion. Mr. Armstrong is a religious and gener- 
ous-hearted man, has great sympathy for the af- 
flicted. 

Before going to tea we joined in singing a 
beautiful hymn of praise, and Mr. A. kneeling 
led us in prayer. With my hand clasped in 
good Mrs. Lee's, listening to that fervent prayer, 
I felt as though in very truth the Holy Spirit hov- 
ered nigh, and I arose with my heart strength- 
ened to do his will and love him supremely. 
This calm, genial evening will ever be recalled, as 
some bright oasis with purling brook and grassy 
breast is remembered by the traveller who has 
tracked the desert sands. Such hours cast a 
glow of joy over our hearts, and we learn 

" Friendship is not alone a name, 
A charm that lulls to sleep ; 
A shade that follows wealth or fame, 
And leaves the wretch to weep." 

Mrs. Lee returned home shortly after, and I 
have not since met her ; jet happy ain I to have 



198 MARY L. DAY, 

learned she has not forgotten me, thongli many 
miles lay between us; frequently I have re- 
ceived kind messages of love from her. May 
her declining days be peaceful and happy, ir- 
radiated by the light of His countenance "who is 
the joy of her heart and her portion forever. 

Dr. Wilson, (Mrs. Lee's brother,) upon visit- 
ing our Institution, expressed great interest and 
sympathy in our behalf Though I met him 
but a fleeting hour, I found him social, genial, 
and most agreeable as a friend. 

We were very anxious until we received in- 
telligence of Mr. Loughery's safe arrival home. 
We still deeply felt his absence from us ; two 
of our number, Thomas Maxwell and William 
Davis, were almost inconsolable. They had 
watched and tended him day and night during 
his illness, devoting themselves to him with the 
most unremitting attention. 

The night before he bade them adieu, he gave 
them much good advice, also made each a pre- 
lent of a penknife, which they still possess, and 
yalue very highly. 

Thomas Maxwell had been thinking seriously 
on the subject of religion during his teacher's 



THE BLIND GIKL. ' 199 

illness, and, I am happy to saj, has since been 
converted, and has become a consistent member 
of the Presbyterian Church. 

Among the mementos of my dear departed 
friend, I cherish a few lines penned for my 
album. I give them to the reader, sanctified as 
they are to me by tender recollections and loved 
v"6sociations. 

THE QUEEN' OF FLOWERS. 

' One clear summer night through the garden I strayed 

With thoughts sad and pensive, alone ; 
The pale moon was soaring in beauty above, 

And gilding the earth as she shone. 
The bright stars were studding the heavens like gemS 

And watching the weary at rest ; 
And mild, gentle zephyrs in fond, playful mirth, 

The sweet sleeping flowers caressed. 

The roses were dreaming of beauty at morn, 

As they slept in their own shady bowers, 
4.nd close by their side stood a figure divine, 

The beautiful Queen of the Flowers. 
She gazed on them fondly, e'en Venus ne'er looked 

More charming, more lovely than she. 
Sweet innocence played on the dimples that came, 

And her smile *as a heaven for me. 



200 MARY L. DAY, 

" Aurora arose in her pure robe of light, 

And chased the dull shadows away ; 
The roses awoke from their beautiful dreams, 

To welcome the bright orb of day. 
The fair Queen of Flowers no longer remained, 

She left them, I thought, with a sigh, 
And dew-drops, like mirrors, reflected the love 

That beamed as she smiled a good-by." 

The Trustees of the Institution, finding Mr. 
L.'s health not likelj to be regained, engaged 
Professor H. H. Bruning to instruct us. Ue 
proved very competent, and we made progTess 
in our various studies. He endeared himself to 
us by the sympathy he expressed for us in the 
loss of our former preceptor ; said he once had 
a teacher whom he loved and respected fts a 
parent, and that having had to mourn his death, 
he could feel for us in our separation from one 
whom we had cherished so fondly. 

We heard occasionally from Mr. L., but un- 
welcome the intelligence, for eveiy letter but 
confirmed the melancholy fact that he was ra- 
pidly declining, and that ere many moons had 
waned, his earthly pilgrimage would have ended) 
his sands of life qnite rnn out. 



THE BLIND GIKL. 201 

One afternoon, while assembled in our parlor, 
Biddy entered, holding a letter sealed in black, 
I can not describe the feeling that came over 
me ; in an instant every voice was hushed, and 
a deathlike stillness reigned. Miss McGrinley 
broke the seal, yet spoke no word. The sus- 
pense became painful, and we implored her to 
let us know the worst. In a husky whisper she 
replied : " Girls, he is gone !" Every heart was 
bowed in grief — ^these words had sped like barbed 
arrows. Sobs and groans were heard through 
every part of the building. Such sorrow I never 
wish to witness again. Each inmate seemed to 
feel they had lost their best friend. We could 
scarce realize that a few months previous he had 
been so well, cheerful, and happy, and was now 
beneath the burial sod, the cold turf above him. 

His words and actions arose to our memory, 
and were lovingly treasured by us. And well 
might we recall the past when he was with us 
and of us, for even in his dying moments we 
were near unto him. Just before his spirit took 
its heavenward flight, even when delirium waa 
raging high, he talked of our stricken band ; im- 
agined himself again in the school-room, or whil- 



202 MAEY L. DAY, 

ing the hours away in discoursing sweet melodies 
to us. But he has gone, and we are left to sigh 
and weep that earth knoweth him no more. 

He would sometimes say, could he have his 
two homes together, he should get well faster. 
But he was not to be restored to health ; the 
fiat had gone forth, and it became our duty to 
say, " Thy will be done, O Lord !" and strive 
to subdue the sorrow surging in our hearts. 
Sweet friend, 

" Light be the turf of thy tomb ! 

May its verdure like emeralds be ; 
There should not be the shadow of gloom, 
In aught that reminds us of thee. 

" Young flowers and an evergreen tree, 
May spring from the spot of thy rest ; 
But nor cypress nor yew let there be, 
For why should we mourn for the blest ?" 

In two weeks after Mr. Loughery's death, one 
of our pupils, Sammerfield Bassford, a 3^oung ma n 
of fine promise, aged twenty years, exchanged 
this world for a brighter and far happier on?. 
Death had entered our band and stolen from'it 
two shining marks, transplanting them to bloom 
in heaven. 



THE BLIISiD GIRL. 203 

Again vacation was drawing near. I was 
glad to obtain release from duty, for the sorrow 
of tlie last two months had greatly impaired my 
health, and I sadly needed surcease from toil. 

Cousin Charles Harriman kindly invited me 
to pass my vacation with his family. This in- 
vitation I readily availed myself of, for I felt 
sure it would recruit both my health and spirits. 
Accordingly the day-school closed ; I left for 
Westminster. You may, gentle reader, fancy 
my pleasure in again greeting my cousin's family, 
not having seen them for two years. They tried 
every means to divert my thoughts from the sad 
past, and at the close of my hours of idleness I 
returned to my duties, feeling much improved 
physically, and more cheerful than when I had 
laid them aside to seek the invigorating influence 
of country air and healthful exercise. 

During my absence Dr. M<?Kenncy had re- 
signed the superintendence of the Institution, 
and the Board of Directors were about supply 
ing his place. As may be supposed, the in 
mates were very solicitous as to who might be 
elected to the post. Much of their comfoit and 
improvement depended upon this decision. 



204 MART L. DAY, 

"VYould it be some one who would sympathize 
with them as Mr. Lougherj had done ? Or 
would he deem his office not one of tender 
friendship, and loving. Christian counsel, but as 
that of mentor, whose word was a law irrevoc- 
able? 

At length the day arrived upon which the 
mportant decision was to be made. After the 
adjournment of the Board, Mr. McHenry, its 
ivorthy President, came and informed us Mr. 
Charles Keener had been elected. Though a 
stranger to us all, yet the appointment pleased ; 
we felt he would prove all we could possibly 
desire. 

We were now daily exjDccting his arrival. It 
was quite as much a matter of debate among 
the pupils as had been that of other expected 
officers. As in previous instances, his voice was 
anticipated as likely to be indicative of his 
disposition towards us. We did not fancy it 
would be harsh or severe, but a sort of internal 
gonsciousness seemed to inform us it would be 
kind and gentle. Yet prepossessed as we were 
disposed to be in the stranger's favor, still we 
thought he could not possibl}^ be just like our 
loved and lamented friend and teacher. 



THE BLIND GIRL. 205 

Four weeks elapsed ere Mr. K. came ; wlien 
one morning all assembled in the school-room 
to receive the new arrival, which was to us of 
so much moment. How eagerly we listened for 
the first sound his lips should utter ; it was to 
be the index of our future. He spoke a few 
pleasant words of greeting, and the magic tono 
of kindness was not wanting. A smile flitted 
over each countenance. He would prove as we 
had thought he would. Mr. K. ever referred in 
a kind and sympathetic manner to our bereave- 
ment in the death c^ Professor L., saying he felt 
for us and with us in losing so dear a friend. 
This appreciation of our sorrow made him at 
once seem very near to us, and from each heart 
went up a prayer that his life be long spared, 
that he may tread the paths of usefulness, dis- 
pensing light and cheer to all whose sun is dark- 
ened here below. 

And now, gentle reader, the simple story of 
my life is told. You mayhap have met but 
little to win upon your fancy, yet these pages 
are the heart-history of one whose way has in- 
deed been fraught with vicissitude. Gleams of 
sunlight have shone forth, even when the hour 



206 MAEY L. DAY. 

was darkest, bidding my sad heart cheer, no 
day so dark but hath a bright to-morrow. If 
you have paused to shed a tear over any line 
or one emot-on of sympathy has swelled your 
bosom in behalf of the lonely, friendless wan- 
derer, then have you called forth gratitude from 
the heart of one keenly alive to what of joy 
may be her portion. 

While wending your onward footsteps to the 
grave's shadowy portals, may no cloud obscure 
the light of 3^our earthly horizon, and when with 
its icy chill shall steal death's hand over the 
heart once responsive to the ennobling emotions, 
pity, friendship, love, may an angel bear <xj the 
home of ibe blessed your ransomed soul, .. '/ /^e^j 
forever ir?ph the Lord.